The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) exercise will be held on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. The exercise is scheduled to start at approximately 8:30 a.m. and conclude in the early afternoon. This annual event has been designed to test participants’ response capabilities to simulated emergencies, which are federally evaluated.
Nearly 2,000 people from the American Red Cross, the Center for Disabilities, the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, First Student, local hospitals, Pueblo Animal Services, Pueblo Behavioral Health Response Team, Pueblo School District 70, the Pueblo Chemical Depot and more than a dozen first-response agencies in Pueblo County will participate.
The exercise scenario will, in part, involve a simulated chemical incident at U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot and a second non-related emergency within Pueblo County requiring the activation of various Emergency Operations Centers, the Pueblo Community Joint Information Center, and decontamination and treatment facilities.
Two of Pueblo’s public warning capabilities will also be tested during the exercise. Twenty outdoor warning sirens located in the emergency zones surrounding the Pueblo Chemical Depot will be tested as part of the exercise. A test message will sound during the exercise for nearly 1,600 tone alert radios, which provide warning for people who are indoor.
The public may see exercise-related activity at several locations throughout Pueblo County. The responders may be dressed in full protective equipment and mock accident victims will receive realistic looking injury make-up called moulage. Emergency equipment and vehicles will be deployed to various sites to include the area north of Boone on IL Road, Liberty Point International School, Colorado State University-Pueblo/Praise Assembly of God Church and all three Pueblo hospitals.
There has been extensive planning and preparing throughout the year by many local community and response agencies for this exercise, according to Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services Bureau Chief Mark Mears and Pueblo Chemical Depot’s Commander, Colonel Christopher Grice.
“This exercise is an annual tool for a multi-agency response to simultaneous incidents,” Col. Grice said. “Refining our methods of response is integral to the purpose of the CSEPP intent and we look forward to expanding and reinforcing our partner relationships with community, state and county agencies.”