By Vanessa Dominguez
On June 16th several agencies joined forces to conduct an Emergency Response Exercise. The public was not informed about this exercise and as a result, there was a call to 911 about what you see above. This was not a real body and instead part of the exercise.
The exercise was designed as a mock run of how emergency workers would respond in the event of a terrorist attack. The hypothetical setting for this exercise was an explosion at the Stampede with about 15,000 in the general area. A 911 call is initiated and the Greeley Police are the first to “respond”. The responding officer discovers that the “victim” is contaminated by a dirty bomb explosion. Thus begins the lengthy process of decontamination of victims, cordoning off the scene and coordinating the response by the different agencies.
Exercises like this one provide valuable practice for the emergency agencies in Weld County. The opportunity for critical decision making and to identify and fix potential communication problems is invaluable. “It’s better to make mistakes in an exercise rather than real incident,” said City of Greeley Emergency Manager Steve Blois.
The participating agencies in the exercise were:
Union Colony Fire Rescue, Weld Sheriff’s Office, Poudre Fire Authority, Internal Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, Greeley Police Department, Loveland Fire Department, 84th CST-Warren AFB, Eaton Fire Department, Evans Fire Department, South Weld County HazMat Training Group, FBI WMD, Larimer County Sheriff’s Department, EPA, Colorado State Department of Public Health and Environment, Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment, Fredrick-Firestone FPD, Brighton FPD, Mountain View FPD, Berthoud FPD, Fort Lupton FPD, and Berthoud FPD.
Breakfast, lunch and drinks were provided by American Red Cross and Salvation Army.
This exercise demonstrated the precision that goes into an emergency plan. Everyone can feel safe knowing you are in good hands and emergency teams are well prepared.