Designed to make tabletop drills useful and fun, these tabletop games can be played with just the PowerPoint slides and a set of dice. While it is impossible to predict every situation, the below drills are intended to familiarize participants with a variety of potential scenarios, providing them with a better understanding of the roles, policies, and procedures for responding to each incident type. A key objective of these games is to promote better mutual understanding of the various roles in a response. As such, gameplay is intended to have players filling roles that differ from their usual positions.
Game materials for 7 different drill types are available for download below as PowerPoint presentations. Slides needed to facilitate the drill overview, gameplay, and wrap up are included in each presentation. Materials can be used ‘as-is’ by facilities of all sizes, and are also easily adapted to better accommodate facilities with varying needs.
How to Play
The designated Drill Master (DM) should have the PowerPoint for the drill up where it can be easily viewed by all participants. Advancing the slides will help the DM guide players through each part of the game.
Players should be divided into 6 groups, each with their own designated playing space and dice. An ideal group size would be 6-8 players, although the game can be played with as few as 1 -2 players per group. Groups should be mixed with players from multiple departments, with each individual playing a role that differs from their normal position.
Each group will have an Incident Commander (IC) assigned by the Drill Master (DM). This should be a group member that does not typically serve in that leadership role, such as a keeper. Each group is also recommended to identify a group member to take notes during the game.
The DM should provide an overview of the incident type, goals, objectives, and basic rules for the session before beginning gameplay. Once the overview is completed, the game can begin!
Each “turn” consists of 4 steps, played simultaneously by all groups:
- Roll – Each group will roll the dice when instructed by the DM
- Reveal – Once all groups have rolled, the DM will advance the slide to reveal the factors associated with each number rolled. Note: For some rolls, the DM may ask a group to re-roll to avoid duplicates within the drill (ex: animal type in an escape drill).
- Discuss – Groups will discuss how they would respond to the incident based on the known factors, with each member determining responsibilities of the role they are playing. Discussion should be limited to 2 minutes per group member (ex: groups of 8 would have 16 minutes for discussion) to reflect the time constraints of a real scenario.
- Share – Each group will report on their current situation and the DM will call on individual players to answer prompts about their scenario.
Once the final turn has been completed, groups will have time to debrief and gather notes on how their scenario went. Each group will report out on their scenario, what they would do differently in the future, and what concerns they have.
After all groups have presented, the DM will facilitate a discussion on lessons learned and next steps.
These PowerPoint templates were created by Kelly Murphy, EMS Coordinator at the North Carolina Zoo, for the AZA Safety Committee and were first introduced as part of the committee’s annual Safety Summit at the 2022 AZA Midyear Meeting. If you have questions about the templates, you can reach Kelly at [email protected]. Thank you, Kelly!