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Travelers along Highway 52 west of I-25, as well as those on WCR 41 and WCR 50 ½ near LaSalle, may see increased first responder activity as Weld County and multiple municipal, law and fire agencies participate in the county’s bi-annual emergency exercise on September 30 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm.
Since 2012, Weld County Government has hosted county-wide training courses for local agencies to participate in so as to ensure emergency response plans are up to date, staff and agencies are trained and familiar with roles and responsibilities, and areas of improvement are identified and remedied prior to an actual emergency (Last year’s training was postponed to this year because of COVID).
“The county’s commitment to emergency preparedness is strong and is evidenced by the number of agencies and personnel who participate in these trainings – it is a true county-wide effort,” said Roy Rudisill, Director of the Office of Emergency Management. To date, more than 90 people from 17 agencies in Weld County will participate in the training and exercise.
“In the past, our exercises have been table-top, meaning we lay out a scenario with various injects throughout the time period allotted for the exercise, but everyone is at one site,” explained Rudisill. “This year we are doing something different and having four sites throughout the county active in the scenario with personnel at each of those sites.” In addition to the two sites listed above, the Carbon Valley Emergency Operations Center and the Weld County Emergency Operations Center will be activated.
As would happen during an actual emergency, there will be an incident command team in the field at each site relaying information and requests to the county’s emergency operations center. The public may see first-responders and their equipment at the two off-site locations as part of the exercise.
“We ask for the public’s patience and understanding as these teams work through the scenario,” said Rudisill. “We don’t anticipate the exercise causing any delays for the traveling public, but we do know that public curiosity will be piqued. Take heart that the work done during the exercise helps us all be better prepared to respond when a real emergency occurs,” Rudisill said.