On Saturday, April 12, 2014, I had the opportunity to attend the training session arranged by Perry Lundquist, W6AUN, the North Central Region EC. We first put together a simulated weather response for the National Weather Service (NWS) requesting spotters in the field as well as flood watch spotters requested by the various county Emergency Managers(EMs). This was basically done to get experience of completing the IC-205 with details of the use of your county’s various radio frequencies as well as a discussion of the various district’s alerting methods. After a quick lunch break, we were treated to a presentation on HAZMAT placarding and labeling as well as transportation in Colorado, given by Randy Perlis, CDOT HAZMAT Department.
This lead to the main part of the exercise, Operation Strange Brew, which started with a simulated train car derailment as well as an accident with the rail car with a truck hauling construction materials at the intersection of E. 80th St, Highway 2 and Rosemary St in Commerce City, and message traffic giving wind direction and speed, as well as there were already casualties involved as well as several schools and residential areas in the immediate area, which prompted the involvement of Adams County (R1D1) ARES, as requested by Adams County EM, which led to a Mutual Aid involvement from JeffCo, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas-Elbert and Boulder county ARES.
Overall, this was a very good exercise, involving not only the efficient use of radio frequencies but the also the efficient use of the CO ARES chains of command, with the District EC’s communicating with the Region EC who was communicating with the other District EC’s and vice versa. In the opinion of this writer, it was an effective training exercise along with good information provided by both Perry Lundquist, W6AUN, and Randy Perlis of CDOT HAZMAT Department.