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Thunderstorm Asthma - Advanced Training In Incident Management

The thunderstorm asthma event of November 2016 caused mass casualties and the deaths of at least nine Victorians. This analysis uses the IGEM Report Findings to examine the challenges faced by the Incident Management Team in overall charge of the incident response. It applies the HCD and Team Processes Frameworks to provide a structured understanding of these challenges.

The main purpose behind this exercise is as a TRAINING aid in Incident Management, as it takes the specific and unique dimensions of this particular incident and sets them within a structure that indicates the quality of performance of ANY IMT in the face of a complex situation involving multiple agencies. Both the HCD and Team Processes Frameworks highlight the KEY QUESTIONS that an IMT has to address, in real time, and which make up its key performance indicators (KPIs), also in real time.

The Inspector General For Emergency Management (IGEM) findings (available here) have been sorted here into their elements within the two Frameworks. This allows for a concentrated discussion on the challenges posed by each of the KPIs, and how best to address them. In another version of the same content, we simply list each item in the order they appear within the IGEM Report. This allows training participants to build familiarity with the Frameworks by identifying which element each item corresponds to. In both versions, the text which appears under the heading of ‘Finding’ is that of the IGEM itself.

The importance of this approach to training is that it deals with the complexities of a REAL incident, which gives it realism, but locates this within a STRUCTURE, which allows the critical learning outcomes to be generalised and put into use by any Incident Management Team.

This training is for advanced players, a basic knowledge and level of experience in Incident Management is assumed, including a good familiarity with AIIMS ICS. The HCD and TP Frameworks build on this foundation, focusing on how both AIIMS and software platforms such as Noggin can be put to the most effective use during a major emergency.

Samples of the training material are supplied below. For a discussion of what this training involves and how it might be of use in your context, contact us at

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