Last week, by coincidence, 3 separate training opportunities, organised under very different headings, came together…The well worn analogy of the London bus definitely crossed my mind as I looked at my diary on the Monday, and realised just what the week held.
In the event, the impact of the 3 days was wildly different, though I guess I’m glad I attended all of them.
Wednesday saw me in the bowels of Shire Hall, the centre of Gloucestershire’s Local Government, undergoing the first part of a two day training for “Emergency Management”. Aside from the fact that my domestic life sometimes feels like one long emergency, I signed up for this because it is only under the auspices of the “Emergency Management VolunteersTeam” that clergy can have any access to those affected by a major crisis…be it a terrorist attack or something less dramatic,- perhaps a rail crash or a serious fire. I know myself well enough to realise that I would find it intolerable to be living close to such an event and be unable to offer any sort of help…so Wednesday was the price I had to pay. I should say, loudly, that the plans in place for all and any contingency are impressively thorough…and it is good to know that if disaster does strike, someone has thought through the implications. That said, the training we were offered was for the most part frustratingly basic. Apparently, when we are fully qualified (having attended day 2) we will be competent to help those affected by the crisis complete a registration form…We may be deputed to make cups of tea. We may even be cleared to clean loos.
Not that I have any problem with any of that…but I do rather baulk at the need for 2 training days to ensure that we’re capable of carrying out these tasks. What really startled me, though, was the realisation that some people who are nominated for day 1 are deemed unready for day 2 (of course, there is always the terrifying possibility that I might find myself among these poor unwanted souls)…I honestly cannot see that I learned anything whatsoever on Wednesday that common sense had not imparted years before. I know that people react differently under stress, but to be confronted with that degree of “I” dotting and “t” crossing was a culture shock, to say the least, to one who operates largely on intuition.
I expect it was good for me!