Monthly Archives: January 2014

MEPP Discussion-Based Exercise Design and Evaluation

HSEEP Building Blocks

HSEEP Building Blocks shows the steps involved in taking training from concept to execution.

The first part of the Master Exercise Practitioner Program is FEMA’s week long Discussion-Based Exercise Design and Evaluation (E132) class. This course is designed for emergency management exercise staff to acquire fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to develop, conduct, evaluate and follow-up discussion-based exercise activities, including orientation seminars and tabletop exercises. The content addresses the fundamental requirements of an overall exercise program and its components. A special emphasis is placed on the evaluation process and the development of sound evaluation tools to assist evaluation staff. Participants are challenged to develop, conduct and evaluate orientations and tabletop exercises during the conduct of the course through the use of proficiency demonstrations.

After a false start in October 2013, our members were able to attend the January 2014 session of the class, held at the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center in Centennial.

Class participants were responsible for developing and delivering a tabletop exercise that simulated an incident and asked participants, usually policy level individuals, including division commanders, department leaders and elected officials, to respond to the situation as they normally would, following existing policy documents and standard operating procedures as the incident unfolds.

The goal of the class is to deliver a discussion based simulation that would allow participants to identify gaps and weaknesses in the existing plans. The results of the tabletop are captured and documented, serving as the first step in a much longer exercise process.

Identifying Needs

Exercise development starts with identification of needs and goals.

The FEMA instructors broke the class into four groups of 17 students each, working with each group individually to identify needs, develop the tabletop exercise and deliver it to one of the other groups. Hot washes and debriefings were held to evaluate the exercises and their results as a means of better understanding what worked and what needed to be improved.

Tabletop MEPP

The tabletop exercise is delivered to members of the class, simulating a variety roles in a policy group.

At the conclusion of the class the students were given a homework assignment to develop and execute an HSEEP compliant discussion based tabletop exercise for their home agencies.

Moulage Class 2014

On January 18, 2014 we hosted a moulage class at the Center for Simulation Studies at the Lowry Campus of the Community College of Aurora.  The class was attended by 18 emergency responders and medical professionals from eleven counties!  The training focused on injuries ranging from simple road rash to cuts and bruises to more severe injuries requiring critical care.

Moulage 1

Students gather around to watch a demonstration of moulage development.

Moulage 2

Students practice moulage application on one another.

Moulage 3

A burn with blisters is applied to a student.










The most popular injuries are still the gory ones fitting a good Halloween party.

Moulage 4

The eye is covered to begin the moulage process.

Moulage 5

Injury site is built up and a gap for the wound is added.







Moulage 6

A little blood splatter to add flavor (and realism) to the injury.

Moulage 7

The finished product, complete with blood, guts and some ooze to simulate a blown out eye.








We are hoping to run another moulage class in January of 2015.