A drill is a coordinated, supervised activity usually employed to validate a single, specific operation or function in a single agency or organizational entity. Drills are commonly used to provide training on new equipment, develop or validate new policies or procedures, or practice and maintain current skills.
Typical attributes of drills include:
- Practicing and perfecting a single emergency response element.
- A "field" component in a realistic environment.
- Immediate feedback.
- Performance in isolation.
For every drill, clearly defined plans, policies, and procedures need to be in place. Personnel need to be familiar with those plans and policies, and trained in the processes and procedures to be drilled.
A drill may start with brief remarks from the exercise planning team leader. Once controllers and evaluators are properly stationed, the drill begins. If no safety issues arise, the drill continues until the process is complete, time expires, or objectives are achieved. During the simulated incident, players must know that they are participating in a drill and not an actual emergency.
Controllers ensure that participant behavior remains within predefined boundaries and that entities not involved in the drill are not unnecessarily mobilized. Evaluators observe behaviors and compare them against established plans, policies, procedures, and standard practices (if applicable). Safety controllers ensure all activity takes place within a safe environment.
Below you will find links to the various phases and their associated steps to assist you with the design, development, and conduct of a workshop. A majority of this information is derived from the US Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) February 2007 Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP), to include: Volume 1: HSEEP Overview and Exercise Program Management, HSEEP Volume II: Exercise Planning and Conduct, HSEEP Volume III: Exercise Evaluation and Improvement Planning, HSEEP Volume IV: Sample Exercise Documents and Formats, and HSEEP Volume IV: Prevention Exercises.
Phase 1: Pre-Planning
Phase 2: Design and Development
Phase 3: Conduct Drill
Phase 4: After Action Report and Improvement Planning