Wildfire drill held in Vail Wednesday | VailDaily.com

Wildfire drill held in Vail Wednesday

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL ” A wildfire threatening the town and the ski mountain will be the mock emergency in a drill firefighters and other public safety workers will conduct from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Donovan Park Wednesday.

The purpose of the exercise to is test how several different agencies coordinate a response to a fire, how the town could be evacuated and how well the emergency crews’ communication systems work.

“While a catastrophic fire may not be stoppable, if the town is organized to respond quickly to a small fire, there is a better chance of stopping it before it gains size and speed,” Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger say.

The drill is being led by Capt. Cooter Overcash of the Vail Fire and Emergency Services Department and Neil Colclough, Vail Mountain security manager.

Vail’s fire, police and public works departments will participate in the training along with Vail Resorts, Eagle County Health Service District, Vail Valley Medical Center, Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, Eagle River Fire Protection District, Eagle County Emergency Management, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Forest Service.

Henninger says neither the mountain nor Vail’s neighborhoods will be disrupted by the training.

Residents can find the town’s evacuation plan on the town’s Web site, at http://www.vailgov.com/evac.

During an evacuation, residents will be notified by land-line telephone. Those who subscribe to the new Eagle County alert system at http://www.ecalert.org also will receive notification via e-mail, page or text message.

Special needs, such as anyone using electrical medical equipment that may be affected during a power outage or those requiring assistance evacuating, should contact the Vail Police Department in advance of an emergency by calling 479-2200.

Henninger says two Web sites ” http://www.redcross.org and http://www.readycolorado.com ” have good tips for residents who want to plan ahead for emergencies and evacuations.

For more information about the training exercise and public preparedness programs, call Overcash at 479-2250 or Neil Colclough at 479-3055.

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