Summit County first responders to stage wildfire exercise
Ryan Summerlin May 30, 2014
The Summit County Office of Emergency Management, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, the town of Breckenridge and other first-response agencies will participate in a full-scale emergency preparedness exercise Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31.
Participating agencies will respond to a mock scenario based on a wildfire in the Upper Blue River Basin; the fire will be wind-driven and moving steadily up the valley toward Breckenridge. Smoke and spot fires will create the need for evacuations, which will require first responders to go door-to-door in those areas.
Residents throughout the county also can expect to receive test emergency alert messaging through the SCAlert system during the exercise. A multiple-vehicle accident involving numerous injuries and some deaths also will be simulated.
The exercise will include a Wildfire Preparedness and Education Fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Summit High School. Information on wildfire readiness programs will be available, and the public will have the opportunity to participate in a simulated community meeting on wildfire operations and evacuations and enter to win an American Red Cross weather alert radio or evacuation kit.
The exercise is designed to test real-time emergency response and coordination among multiple agencies. An emphasis will be placed on evacuation, public warning and public information, resource ordering and incident management. Communications protocols and fatality management coordination among participating agencies and an evacuation of medical facilities also will be tested.
Uniformed personnel will be going door-to-door on Saturday, notifying residents in the Peak 7 area about evacuation procedures. Fog machines also will be used to simulate a smoke plume, which may be visible from Colorado Highway 9 and the town of Breckenridge.
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