Thursday's events took place at three locations:
- Denver International Airport
- West Metro Fire Rescue's Training Center
- The Longmont United Hospital
The first day of exercise focused on response activities which would take place 12 hours after a tornado touched down.
The second day of the exercise, on Friday, will focus on the recovery phase of a disaster and will involve multiple Emergency Operations Centers (EOC's) across the Denver region, including the State of Colorado EOC.
The EOC activities will simulate what happens as an incident moves from the emergency response phase into the long-term recovery phase of an incident.
"This year's Colorado wildfires have vividly shown us how large disasters can stretch the resources of even our largest cities and emergency response agencies," says Exercise Director Steve Standridge. "A primary objective of Operation VORTEX will be to test our ability to bridge jurisdictional lines and cooperate with partners we may not work with on a day-to-day basis, in order to support large-scale response and recovery efforts," Standridge added.
The exercise is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. and end at approximately 5 p.m., both days.
Operation VORTEX is sponsored by the North Central All-Hazards Emergency Management Region, Denver Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), and Front Range Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS). Funding comes from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region VIII.
One purpose of the NCR is to improve region-wide emergency preparedness, response and homeland security capabilities through coordinated planning, training and exercise efforts.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)