Response to Incidents


This resource guides you through Module 2, Unit 2 Initial Volunteer Experience - Response to Incidents


On completion PSYV's will:

  • Learn how Police Scotland respond to incidents and how PSYV should respond if an incident occurred at a volunteering event.


Group room or classroom


It is anticipated that you will require 2 hours to deliver this lesson. Please consider any time you require to plan/ prepare by going over the lesson plan in advance.


Activity 1: Starter

Introduce Slides 1 to 3 in the presentation.

Start by giving out large paper (flip-chart) and post-it notes to small groups. Ask the groups to identify what they think an incident is.

Show the presentation 'Slide 4' which defines an incident. Then slide 5 discusses making an assessment.

Activity 2: Presentation

Now work through the presentation which looks at how to prepare for incidents, focusing on Decision-Making and Responses. Reinforce the SAFER acronym as a good way to remember.

As part of the presentation you will be required to print and cut the 'Response to Incidents PDF'. At the relevent point of the input, split the group into sub-groups and have them each discuss their given scenario and what they think they could/should do. Give them 10 minutes to discuss. At the end have on YV read out loud the scenario to the whole group and feedback what they would do. Allow the rest of the group to input any other suggestions.

Activity 3: Scenarios

Here is an example of a local group of volunteers which have organised themselves as a 'Resilience Group' to help respond to emergencies.

Post-incident critiques often confirm that experience gained during exercises was the best way to prepare teams to respond effectively to an emergency. As a group list incidents which you think you might have to respond to. Vote for one that you want to act out. Get the group to allocate roles and work through the plan, following the guide on the slides. Group Coordinators can organise maps, high-viz vests and so on if you want to make it more life-like.

Make sure there is time at the end to reflect on how it went, what worked and what didn't. Were then any weak areas e.g. communication, leadership etc?

Activity 4: Learning Lessons

Make sure that in advance of the session you read the paper 'Lessons we Don't Learn'. Draw from this to explain to the group that anecdotal evidence suggests mistakes are repeated incident after incident. It appears that while identifying lessons is relatively straightforward, true learning is much harder – lessons tend to be isolated and perishable, rather than generalized and institutionalized.

In the same groups challenge YV's to identify why it may be difficult to learn from lessons incidents. You could vary this by giving each group a different heading and then reporting back to each other, such as:

  • Leadership

  • Communications

  • Planning

  • Resources

  • Operations

  • Training

Each group will feed back their thoughts and ideas.



The assessment for this activity is a 5-question quiz which can be accessed on Moodle. Please advise youth volunteers of the following points:

  • The quiz is on Moodle under Module2: Unit1L PSYV Knowledge & Skills Development/Response to Incidents Quiz

  • They have 2 attempts to complete. After this their mentor needs to review their learning before allowing them to re-try.

  • They need to get 4 out of 5 questions correct.

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