During a recent CERT Train-the-Trainer class held in Santa Barbara instructors Stacy Gerlich, Capt. Los Angeles Fire Department; Mary Jo Flynn, Anaheim Fire & Rescue, Emergency Management Assistant Director (@anaheimcert) and Todd DeVoe, Seal Beach Police Department Emergency Management Coordinator developed an interactive exercise game for the students who served as a pilot audience. The game involves the use of QR Code technology, requiring the students to scan a QR code, read or watch the information that appears and make a decision. Dubbed a “Choose Your Own Adventure” exercise, this activity required the students to engage in several layers of decision making and analytical activities.
Basic rules of the game were simple. QR Codes were numbered, enlarged and printed. Each printed page was hung on the walls of various rooms. The emergency exit map for the facility was utilized allowing students to find their way identifying the various locations of each QR Code. Using the local emergency exit layout allows this exercise to be replicated absolutely anywhere; the only identifying information is given at the beginning with the name of the earthquake that starts the exercise. Students were required to start with QR Code #1 and work their way through a matrix of decisions leading them to the final QR Code and conclusion of the activity.
“We received a great deal of positive feedback from this game and students were all smiles whispering to one another that this was fun and extremely helpful in their learning process” said Mary Jo Flynn. Capt. Stacy Gerlich was pleased with the results, but especially the simplicity of the game, “This activity is ADA compliant, requiring no heavy lifting, videos can be produced with closed captioning, text readers may be enabled to read text information aloud and it can be translated into other languages.” Todd De Voe commented that “The best part of this type of training is that it can be used anywhere and can be as large as your facility can handle.”
Below are the QR Codes used in this first pilot exercise, which may be enlarged to form signs that are scanned during the game. Additionally, they may be placed throughout a facility so that the team is required to first utilize a right or left hand pattern search, marking the location, then finding number 1 and starting the series of situations.
Future goals include updating this exercise game to make it increasingly complex, or to change decision making models to simulate a changing disaster situation which requires re-evaluation and the application of a new plan by team members.
For more information on this exercise and others, contact the instructors:
Stacy Gerlich: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Jo Flynn: email@example.com also @anaheimcert
Todd DeVoe: firstname.lastname@example.org