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Training, Drills and Exercises

A key aspect of preparedness involves training and hands-on drills and exercises. Emergency Management, Environmental Health & Safety and ISU Police regularly facilitate training, drills and exercises for the University community (including the Laboratory Schools). These activities often test emergency plans, individual threats/hazards, and/or the capability of campus emergency response teams.

This section organizes training in the following categories:

  • Drills and Exercises

    These are the most immersive emergency-related training sessions that offer realistic settings, scenarios and hands-on participation.

  • Classroom Training

    Classroom sessions are discussion-based and we deliberately structure these to limit lecture and maximize participant discussion.


    Environmental Health & Safety offers several CPR/AED training opportunities throughout the year.

  • ERP Class

    Every University department is required to have a current Department Emergency Response Plan.

Student Health Services Disaster Drill

In June 2019, the University conducted a disaster drill at Student Health Services. The simulated tornado brought together 80 healthcare providers from SHS, Mennonite College of Nursing, Redbird EMS and Athletics Trainers to provide immediate care and support to 80 role-playing patient actors. The goal of this drill was to test a newly-adopted disaster plan that aims to care for victims of a mass casualty incident that present to Student Health Services while the Town of Normal Fire Department musters enough ambulances to transport victims to area hospitals. The Pantagraph also published a nice summary of the drill.

U-High Reunification Exercise

In April 2018, University High School conducted a full-scale relocation and reunification exercise at Redbird Arena. About 360 parents and students participated in this event which tested the newly-adopted Reunification Plan that covers University Laboratory Schools and a number of Unit 5 schools. This joint plan outlines steps to reunify students with their parents or guardians. The plan also details a range of support services within the Reunification site. This 2.5 hour exercise tested each of these support services. The short compilation video below shows the highlights of the exercise and an After-Action Report recaps the exercise and next steps.

Mass Medication Dispensing Exercise

In September 2018, the University supported the McLean County Health Department in running a mass medication dispensing exercise at Redbird Arena. The scenario involved an Anthrax release in Chicago, with a resulting need to provide medications to everyone in Illinois. The McLean County Health Department was responsible for providing medications to approximately 75,000 residents at the Redbird Arena site over a couple day period. The video below recaps exercise activities, which gave our Mennonite College of Nursing students and our Student Health Services staff a unique opportunity to partner on such a large-scale event.

Active Shooter Exercise

In March 2015, the University conducted a full-scale active shooter exercise. The exercise was carried out in the Atkin-Colby residence halls that had recently been decommissioned. Approximately 300 people from campus and around the State of Illinois had this unique opportunity to test our collective response to the unthinkable incident. Dozens of ISU students and faculty members role-played various scenarios to provide realism to the first responders. Not shown in the video are about 8 students who were taken to Student Health Services for rapid trauma assessment and stabilization.