I've been entertaining the the thought of setting up, and having our department host a large scale dissaster drill. I'd like to have a multiple agency event. I haven't really decided on a dissaster type. Any ideas are welcome. I don't want to spend hours, and hours planning, and meeting with our officers, just to have nobody show up!
Should I contact other agencies first to see if they would be interested?

What kind of costs would be involved?

Not sure where to start! Fire acadamy??

Type of drill?? Tornado, school boiler explosion, jetliner down???

How to make a believable large scale drill??

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Chris I would start with the local EMA Dir. We have a county wide drill about every 2 years.
Chris, I would definately recomend doing this. Start with your EMA director to see if they can help plan it and get the word out. We use our high school and our drill is that a tornado just went through during school hours. We get some students and staff to wear fake blood and make up and just take off from there. We have police, fire and EMS all there. It's also a good excercise for your command staff as they will have to break up into divisions to mitigate the scene. Usually don't cost us a thing and I'm sure your local school will be more than willing to help out.

Good luck and stay safe brother!!!!
Thanks Capt., That's great advice, and good points made. I really would like to see how our local agencies would work together. Our officers should get they're hands full, and see what it's like to be given a job that'll test they're abilities to be in charge. Sure sounds fun! Thanks again, and you stay safe too brother!
Hey Chris you're welcome. It's alot of fun but alot of hard work. Just make it as real as you can. The only thing we don't use are props to simulate collapses. We don't want to do ANY real damage to the school since they so generously let us use the place.
What part of the USA do you live in Chris ? if its an area prone to forest fires your best bet would be to put together a large scale forest fire disaster drill and get all of the emergency services,multi agency services such as forestry, parks & wildlife not to forget the radio communications agencies together and simulate a large scale forest fire

Here in country South Australia a training exercise called Operation border hop is conducted every year prior to the fire season and it involves CFS,CFA,DEH,DSE,Forestry SA and other private forestry companies working together to contain a mock forest fire
Good point Capt. , I'm sure it's going to be a major group effort, just getting the ball rolling. As far as props go, I was thinking only out door props. We do have an area we can use to maybe have a flipped car, or two, with entrapped patients, just to add an extra job for a crew. Thanks again Capt.
Good for you Chris; I did one last October, fire, police, FEMA, Red Cross, EMS, 2 hospitals, local government, public works and 2 specialty teams (TRT and hazmat) 30 different departments and over 200 participants. Funding was through our statewide MA group MABAS and had a budget of almost 30 grand. Now I would suggest you go hit yourself with a hammer then after it stops hurting if you still want to do it, we’ll talk.
Hi Robert, Thanks for replying! I live in NW Pennsylvania. We don't get many forest fires. We do, however, get our fare share of brush, and field fires. We're subjected to roughly five tornados a year in this part of the state. Mostly from May to August. On May 31st, 1985 we had an F5 tornado in Centerville, Pa. along with 33 others in NW Pa. that day. Nothing to that extent since then, but I feel it's a matter of time, till it could happen again. Thanks again!!
Hey Trainer, do you suggest a simple thumb shot, or a full blown wack to the side of the head?? Ha Ha. I really do want to try this full heartedly. I know I'll need to pitch this idea in a manor, so to make everyone feel that a drill of this magnatude is really neccesary. One day, we will all have to work together, and I'd be interested in seeing how each agency communicates with one another. Can you say NIMS? Time to put it to the test! Thanks Trainer!
Just a thumb shot, you want to feel a lot of pain as opposed to a knock out.

Now keep in mind that only 2 of us set this up, that is a mistake and we spent close to 2 years, but we were going after funding and this adds a ton of work. With that said, money is a great motivator, and I wanted complete area participation, besides being on the vol side it’s nice to get paid once and a while.
Realism is a toughie, we have a state regional training site with intra-mogul burn cans, collapse house and multiple props so that was our site and did a WMD event mainly because I could write a scenario that fit and the money people love it. Strangle enough I started out with an F5 tornado event, but chanced to the WMD to get our specialty teams involved. You need to stay away from “let’s just simulate that”. FEMA has a book on their web, it’s the bible for drill preparedness, and before you go there and start swearing at me, it’s 300 pages, but read it, there are something’s you don’t think about, plus it gives you some objectives.
I’ll help you out through the whole process but here is my advice on where to start. Write your scenario that fits what you have and where you have it. Form a committee with at least 1 and maybe 2 people from all the major players, full involvement from these key players is a must, and I would say key players are fire, EMS and police, without full involvement from them…..well let me say we were hindered by lack of participation from police, and it showed.
Keep me informed on your progress, I can send you my concept paper as long as you are not a Taliban operative. :)
If tornados are very common in your part of the USA as with wildfires being a regular occurrence in my area of South Australia how about doing a combination large scale exercise like say for example a severe storm with dry lightning starts mutiple brush fires then drops a EF4 tornado a few kms away which rips through a town

As with any successful mock large scale disaster exercise you have to find an appropriate location that can be used as a staging area for briefings and for setting up a triage station, pending on the design of your radio network perhaps have several channels allocated as inter-agency communications channels

Hope my example gave you an idea
Have you tried contacting your Local Emergency Planning Committee or your Emergency Management Agency for help?

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