Vail Symposium hosts emergency preparedness panel on Thursday |

Vail Symposium hosts emergency preparedness panel on Thursday

Vail Symposium and Vail Valley Partnership will present a panel on emergency preparation in Eagle County

Fires, floods, mudslides and more — these occurrences seem to be more of a “when” than “if” situation these days. Disasters are worse-case scenarios that no one wants to think about. However, an effectively run community must include people who think about and plan for the unthinkable such as fires, disease, flooding and mass casualty events. In this special panel program Thursday, Oct. 7, Vail Symposium gathers the experts who are preparing for these incidents and more to speak about the plans in place to get Eagle County through the “what if?”s.

If you go…

What: “Preparing for the Worst: Eagle County Emergency Preparation”

When: Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. 6-7 p.m.

Where: Zoom Webinar

More information: Please visit for more information and to RSVP.

“Smokey skies serve as a grim reminder that we live in a region vulnerable to fire,” said director of programming Claire Noble. “And several recent fires have been close enough to our valley to feel threatening. The community should understand what team is assembled to address challenges that threaten our community and how they operate cooperatively.”

Covering 1,700 square miles, Eagle County contains Vail and Beaver Creek Ski Resorts, agricultural land and a vast swath of federal and state forest and parkland. First responder jurisdictions include five fire districts, five police districts, one sheriff’s department, two 911 districts and an EMS district. Combined with a population of roughly 54,000, Eagle County has numerous and diverse emergency management challenges.

“It is increasingly apparent that regional economic prosperity is linked to an area’s ability to prevent, withstand and quickly recover from major disruptions (i.e., ‘shocks’) to its economic base,” said Chris Romer, president and CEO of Vail Valley Partnership. “Community resiliency through disaster preparation requires engagement not only in recovery but in anticipation of disaster. I am excited to learn from this panel and am confident attendees will learn how they can be better prepared for our next ‘shock.’”

Join the Vail Symposium and Vail Valley Partnership for a webinar with key contributors to Eagle County’s emergency planning and response. This panel discussion seeks to understand how much joint preparation takes place between local agencies and who takes lead. What disasters do local agencies prepare for? What are the county’s primary vulnerabilities? And what can county residents do to prepare for the worst?

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About the speakers

Birch Barron is the Eagle County Emergency Manager. Emergency Management works to protect lives and property in Eagle County through effective emergency management practices and procedures. Barron coordinates with local response agencies to prepare for, mitigate, respond to and recover from natural or human-caused emergency situations.

Chief Karl Bauer was appointed to the position of general manager and fire chief by the Eagle River Fire District’s Board of Directors. Bauer officially assumed the position Jan. 1, 2012. Bauer has worked as a public servant for approximately 40 years.

Jon Stavney, as Executive Director of Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, is a leader passionate about improving local government through information sharing, innovation and best practices.

Sheriff James Van Beek was elected in November 2014 and is proudly serving Eagle County and its residents. A Colorado native, Van Beek was born in Denver to Dutch immigrant parents. He has worked and raised his family in Eagle County for more than 25 years.

Steve Vardaman is the Operations Manager at Eagle County Paramedic Services (ECPS). He started his career with ECPS in 2002 as an EMT, completed paramedic school in 2003 and served a paramedic supervisor at ECPS from 2013-20. In addition, he works as a paramedic ski patroller for Vail Resorts, is a certified critical care paramedic, a Board for Critical Care Transport Paramedic Certification certified flight paramedic and a State of Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training certified reserve sheriff’s deputy. He’s also one of only 19 International Board of Specialty Certification certified tactical paramedics in the state.



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