First Community Bank of Bedford County

A change from fire and tornado drills, the Attainium interactive disaster response exercise was “easy to run” and “cost-effective”

“Attainium’s Conduct-it-Yourself™ Disaster Experience enabled us to do a unique training program with relatively little difficulty and expense – it cost less than our postage budget for one month,” said Rebecca Jones, a training officer in the compliance department at First Community Bank in Bedford County, Tennessee. “We learned about the conduct-it-yourself version of Attainium’s exercise at a session we attended at a Tennessee Bankers Association risk management seminar, and we thought it would be a great idea to use for our staff training.

“Management and staff thoroughly enjoyed the training… ultimately, it was something different than the normal fire-drill type of exercise. It was refreshing and it made people think; they got involved in the sessions, and some of them were really gung-ho,” Jones said. “They liked the fact that they were taken in by the surprise ending, and they enjoyed the variety of disruption scenarios and the fact that there were no wrong answers.

“There was relatively little preparation required with Attainium’s software and the hard copy they provided. Because we wanted to put the program on in a specific time frame, we did not customize the scenarios, which you can do with the conduct-it-yourself exercise; there were plenty of scenarios to just use it as it was,” she said. “Our Board had recently approved our newest disaster response plan, and everyone had a copy of it prior to the training. We encouraged them to think about what they would do in the situations that arose, applying the plan to some points but not limiting their response to what was in the plan.

“Although the exercise was designed to be run in longer sessions, we conducted the exercise in two-hour sessions, with groups of about 20 people – four teams of five - at each, mixing people of different levels and departments in each group. We had senior management – the president, CFO, and board representatives – as well as tellers, branch managers, data processing people, etc., spread out in the groups. Everyone enjoyed the mixture of roles in the sessions.

“Management liked the way the exercise ran,” Jones said, “and we’re already talking about doing it again, thinking about how we will change and customize it. It was very easy to run, it was inexpensive, and people were still talking about the scenarios two weeks later. Although we were glad we attended the Attainium-conducted exercise, the software is self-explanatory enough to do it even if you hadn’t attended a session.

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