ALERT! Practice Makes Perfect
Emergency Responder Exercise on May 7
Emergency drills are never easy, especially when it involves schools and students. But practice makes perfect, even when it comes to evacuations procedures, keeping kids safe and most importantly, reuniting students with parents and making sure that everyone is accounted for once the danger has passed. To that end, on Tuesday, May 7 the Lake County School District will be conducting an emergency exercise that residents should be aware of and can also participate in as a volunteer. Here’s what you need to know.
According to a press release distributed by Lake County Public Information Officer Betty Benson, each year the Lake County Office of Emergency Management (LCOEM) organizes an exercise to help responding agencies work better together. As staff changes, these exercises help all responding agencies to be efficient and effective in a variety of incidents that might occur in Lake County. This year is no exception and on May 7 the Office of Emergency Management, Leadville School District, Lake County Sheriff’s office, Leadville Police Department, Lake County Public Health, Lake County Human Services, Lake County Public Works, St. Vincent General Hospital, Department of Corrections, Sol Vista, and Colorado State Patrol will work together on this year’s exercise.
The exercise will take place at the Lake County High School beginning about 1 p.m. Roads leading directly to the school, including McWethy from Hwy 24 to 6th Street will be closed to through traffic until the exercise is complete, at approximately 4 p.m.
The LCOEM is always looking for volunteers to help with exercises and events that occur requiring extra staff. If you are interested in helping on an as-needed basis and working with emergency responders please check out the list below and contact Mike McHargue LCEM@LakeCountyEM.org with your area of interest. This is not a complete list. Often exercise volunteers are also needed along with event-specific needs. Training for specific positions will be provided as needed.
Red Cross volunteers, scribes, call center support, handle/manage non-cash donations, point of dispensing volunteers, Spanish translators, monitor news outlets, child care for responders & volunteers, volunteer management, graphic design, family assistance care greeters, animal care at shelters, and traffic control (training required).
The LCOEM has arranged 100% funding for this and previous exercises through Homeland Security grants. LCOEM Director Mike McHargue raises over 50% of his budget from grant dollars. This is possible due to the efforts of Mike and Cailee Hamm who ensure all state and federal required documents are revised, updated and submitted in a timely manner. Much is required to receive federal dollars if an emergency strikes Lake County, and the LCOEM staff ensures all the t’s are crossed and I’s dotted for that ongoing and mandatory process.
Parents Advised of Emergency Drill
In ongoing efforts for open communication with the community, the Lake County School District (LCSD) released the following information which was sent to LCSD parents regarding the May 7 Emergency Exercise which will take place at Lake County High School.
“Reunification of a school is a complex undertaking, and we will be more prepared for an actual event if we practice it,” wrote LCSD Superintendent Wendy Wyman. “This drill will give us valuable practice should we ever need to reunify and also a chance to work with our partner agencies in law enforcement to improve our practices.”
FREE Smoke Detectors Installed May 11
Leadville/Lake County Fire and Rescue and the American Red Cross will be installing free smoke detectors in the Leadville area on, May 11. The American Red Cross will provide the smoke alarms and together with volunteers from Leadville Fire and Rescue and other groups will provide the installation. They will test existing alarms and replace the batteries or the smoke alarm depending on the need. There is also an education component to the install with the entire installation requiring around 15 minutes.
“We are hoping that the smoke alarms and the education effort will make our community safer when it comes to home fire safety,” said Fire Marshal Steve Boyle.
- What: Free smoke alarm installation
- Where: Leadville Area
- When: Saturday, May 11 and from 9 a.m.to 4 p.m.
- Point of Contact: Fire Marshal Steve Boyle, 719-486-2990 – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are in need of new smoke alarms, or if you are someone willing to volunteer to help with the installation/education event please contact Fire Marshall Steve Boyle.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or on Twitter at @RedCross.