Course Announcement - ICS-400 - January 25-26, 2011 - Craig, CO

Moffat County will be hosting an ICS-400 Training Course on January 25-26, 2011, in Craig, Colorado.  The course is intended for command and supervisory personnel who require advanced application of the Incident Command System.  To register, go to and look for Course ID 1006001 and for questions, contact Robyn Knappe, DEM Training Officer at (720) 852-6617 or at

Course Announcement - ICS-300 - Feb 16-17, 2011 - Denver, CO

Denver-UASI will be hosting an ICS-300 Training on February 16-17, 2011 at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in Denver, CO.  Intended for Command or Upper Level Management from Fire, Emergency Medical, Law Enforcement, Public Works, Public Safety Communications, Emergency Management, Public Health, Health Care, Government Officials and Hazardous Material Technicians and will cover incident planning, objectives, forms, resource management, demobilization, command transfer and incident closeout. 

To register, contact Tom Witowski at (720) 865-7651 or at

Recovery from Disaster: The Local Government Role - Multiple Dates - Emmitsburg, MD

The National Emergency Training Center will be hosting two iterations of the E-210 Recovery from Disaster: The Local Government Role in Emmitsburg, MD, from February 14-17, 2011, and March 28-31, 2011.   What makes this course announcement unique is that the course was completely revised in 2010 and is designed for local disaster recovery teams consisting of emergency managers, city/county administrators, public works directors, building inspectors and community planners.

The course focuses on the roles and responsibilities of each team member and provides guidance on developing a local disaster recovery plan.  For more information, see the E-210 Recovery From Disaster:  The Local Government Role Course Flyer.  To register, contact Robyn Knappe, DEM Training Officer at

Shared Strategies for Homeland Security - Recap/Links

This past week, the  Denver Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) hosted the "Shared Strategies for Homeland Security" Conference.  The Conference drew in nearly 700 domestic and international subject matter experts from the first responder, medical/public health, private sector and citizen preparedness fields. We pitch in with the hosting effort and wrote a series of articles through the week on to help share the information from inside the Conference.  While we are in the process of uploading all the additional slides, videos and pulling together our notes for more articles, there were some articles posted as-it-happened that you might find interesting:

The Terrorism Threat:  Fact or Fiction?
Speaker:  Mike Walker, Chairman of the Board of Plexus Scientific Corporation and former Acting Secretary of the Army and Deputy Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Social Media and Public Warnings
Speaker: Dr. Dennis Mileti, Professor Emeritus and former Director, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado

Emergency Medical System and Pre-Hospital Response:  Israeli-Style
Speaker:  Uri Sacham, Director General's Head of Office, Magen David Adom

Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology - Innovation Efforts to Support Emergency Responders
Speaker:  Susan Law, Deputy Director, Interagency Programs, Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology

Media and Terror
Speaker:  Gil Kleiman, for Public Information Office with the Israeli National Police (2001-2004 during period of intense terror activity in Israel)

Resolve to be Ready
Speaker:  Richard Serino, Deputy Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Israeli Healthcare System:  On Constant Alert
Speaker:  Dr. Daniel Laor, Director of Emergency and Disaster Management Division, Ministry of Health

Crisis Communications - Break-Out Session Exercise Re-Cap
Panelists: Dan Alexander, Director, Denver Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security; Matt Murray, Lieutenant, Denver Police Department; Charles Marrone, Program Manager, McMunn Associates and Holly Vaughn, Senior Associate, McMunn Associates

Lessons Learned from Disaster Interventions:  A Personal Perspective
Speaker:  Dr. Reuven Gal, Senior Research Fellow, Kinneret Institute for Social, Security and Peace Studies in Israel

Structuring the Administrative Side of a Hospital for Disaster
Speaker:  Dr. Charles Little, Medical Director, Emergency Preparedness, University Hospital and The Center for Integrated Disaster Health Preparedness

Sharing Strategies for Effective Collaboration
Speaker:  Dr. Michael Fraser, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs

Austin, TX, Response to a Deliberate Plane Crash into a Federal Building
Speaker:  Assistant Chief George Blackmoore, Special Operations and Homeland Security, Austin Fire Department

Denver Hosts International Conference on Homeland Security and Terrorism

More than 600 people from all over the country will gather in Denver next week for a first of its kind conference designed to improve safety and security. The Shared Strategies For Homeland Security conference, put on by the Denver Urban Area Security Initiative, with funding from FEMA/DHS, will integrate first responders, healthcare professionals, the business community and citizens with information, ideas and concepts from around the world that promote increased safety and security.

More than 70 presenters will address four main disciplines: business and critical infrastructure, community resiliency, first responder needs, and medical/health issues. Presentations include topics such as Terror Medicine, Cyber Security, Lessons from Israeli Bombing Investigations and Law Enforcement in a Terror Environment. Speakers come from all disciplines and will include Richard Serino, Deputy Administrator of FEMA as well as numerous security experts from Israel.

The goal is to engage a broad cross section of people throughout a community – from police and fire to business and citizens – in the discussion and planning of safety and security issues. Speaker information and the conference schedule is at:

Note:  During the Conference, the Division of Emergency Management and others will be posting updates on the Shared Strategies Blog and on Twitter using the #sshs tag.

2010 Incident Command System Forms

The Incident Command System is the backbone upon which all-hazards incident response by local, state and federal entities is accomplished.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains a robust site that provides first responders, incident management teams and emergency managers with resources to support an efficient ICS operation including job aids, forms, position checklists and additional resources.

New, updated ICS 2010 Forms are now available online.  You can download/view the suite of forms online here.

ICS training is available from the State's Division of Emergency Management.  To see upcoming training opportunities, you can either visit the DEM Training Tab (top of this page) or also visit for a list of upcoming emergency management, homeland security and public health training events across the State.  For specific questions or to request training in your area/region, contact the State's Training Officer, Robyn Knappe at

Course Announcement - MGT317 Disaster Management for Public Services - 12/20-21 - Fort Collins

The City of Fort Collins and Colorado State University will be hosting a Disaster Management for Public Services Course (MGT317) in Fort Collins, December 20-21, 2010.  The course will be held at the Poudre Fire Authority Training Center at 3400 West Vine Drive in Fort Collins. 

The course brings together those public service personnel from within a jurisdiction who would be required to prevent, manage, or react to a natural, technological, or civil disaster within their community.  Topics to be covered in the course include an introduction to disasters, pre-incident phase, incident phase, post-incident phase and future direction and action plans.  The target audience for the course include law, fire, emergency medical services, public works, health, schools and government personnel and is provided at no cost to students.

For questions and to register, send an email with your name, agency, contact information and position to Mike Gavin (, Emergency Manager for the City of Fort Collins. 

Red Rocks Community College - Emergency Management and Planning Degree and Certificate Programs

Spring Semester Starts - January 18, 2011

Through Red Rocks Community College, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree or a Certificate in Emergency Management Planning.  Conveniently, all courses are offered ONLINE.  An Associate of Applied Science Degree in Emergency Management and Planning requires completion of 60 credit hours of courses, including 15 hours of General Education courses, 15 hours of Electives and 30 credit hours (ten courses) of core EMP courses.

Prospective students can apply to Red Rocks and register for classes totally ONLINE.  More detailed information about our program is available at  For more information, contact Ivo Roospold at (303) 914-6404 or at  You can also read more about the program and opportunities online at

Fort Collins Emergency Manager, Mike Gavin, Elected to be Next Region VIII Vice-President of IAEM

We got a very cool "heads up" we wanted to pass along regarding one of our local Emergency Managers in Fort Collins, Mike Gavin.  Our partners with the International Association of Emergency Managers have recently elected Mike to be the Vice-President of the International Association of Emergency Managers - Region VIII.  To read more about Mike's responsibilities and to learn more about the IAEM, visit IAEM's Region VIII website.  And, from all of us here at DEM, a hearty "Congratulations, Mike!".

Course Announcement - ICS-300 - Dec 16-17 - Moffat County, Colorado

Moffat County and the Division of Emergency Management will host an ICS-300 Training Course in Craig, Colorado on December 16-17, 2010.  ICS-300 provides training on and resources for personnel who require advanced application of the Incident Command System (ICS).  The course expands upon information covered in the ICS-100 and ICS-200 courses.  For more information, download the course flyer or contact DEM's State Training Officer, Robyn Knappe at

Job Announcement - Project Coordinator Emergency Management - Pikes Peak Community College

Pikes Peak Community College is soliciting applications from individuals who meet the minimum requirements for a Project Coordinator Emergency Management, Higher Ed.  Interested candidates must apply online at  All application materials must be received by 4:00 p.m. on the position's closing date to be considered.   Inquiries regarding the position announcement should be directed to Patricia Padeway at (719) 502-2296 or

Lucien Canton - Effective Presentations: Insider Tips for Improving Your Skills

Our State Training Officer, Robyn Knappe, wanted to pass on a link from Lucien Canton's recent newsletter, titled "Effective Presentations: Insider Tips for Improving Your Skills." In emergency management, we spend a lot of our time between incidents speaking at training events and presenting before elected officials and partner agencies. Lucien's article offers some great prompts, advice and reminders on how to engage and connect an emergency management message to your audience.

Avalanche Safety Tips

As the snow returns, so does the risk of avalanches in Colorado.  However, through incredible work by dedicated snow experts using technology to promote education and awareness, the opportunity to be more informed about snow safety, stability and conditions has never been easier or more accessible.  So, at the beginning of this season, take minute to brush up on some Avalanche Safety Tips and check out the new resources in Colorado available to you to stay informed!
  • Take an Avalanche Level 1 Class.  There is nothing you will do in terms of avalanche safety that beats getting together with snow nerds to learn tips, tricks and insights about snow and how it acts.  These classes are open to anyone who is interested or spends time in the backcountry.  An often overlooked recommended audience for these classes are first responders.  If you are in search and rescue, or are a firefighter and involved in over the rail or high/low angle rescue in winter conditions, familiarizing yourself with snow, sounds, and avalanche warnings signs will help enhance your situational awareness and company safety.  Check out the CAIC training calender for course information in your area.
  •  Before heading out, check the current avalanche forecast.  Also check the latest weather forecasts from the National Weather Service.
  • Never Travel Alone.  1) you will have more fun telling stories of adventure later as a group and 2) your friends and fellow adventurers may save your life by providing extra eyes, ears and - if necessary - means of communicating to authorities/help as to where you are if you get trapped.
  • If crossing a slope prone to avalanche's, go one person at a time (see above bullet).  If you are unsure if a slope is prone to avalanche, also see above bullet(s).  In a class, rather than by experience, is where you need to learn to look for angles, snow conditions from your pit, awkward open spaces, trees missing limbs on their bottom half, and other tell-tale signs of the avalanche history of a slope.
Colorado Avalanche Resources
Colorado Avalanche Information Center - - This is your one-stop for information, training and conditions.  Too, check out the CAIC's Twitter Feeds.  They are immensely useful for those in the backcountry or in the area(s) wanting to keep up with the latest regarding avalanche and snow conditions, projections and news (linked below).
CAIC - Steamboat and Flat Tops Info -
CAIC - Front Range -
CAIC - Vail and Summit County -
CAIC - Sawatch Range -
CAIC - Aspen -
CAIC - Gunnison -
CAIC - Grand Mesa -
CAIC - Northern San Juan -
CAIC - Southern San Juan -
CAIC - Sangre de Cristo -
CAIC - Off-Season Avalanche Information -

Have Fun and Be Safe!

Job Announcement - Hazard Mitigation Project Manager/Planner - AMEC

AMEC is looking to hire a Hazard Mitigation Project Manager/Planner to manage, perform and market hazard mitigation and emergency management services for state and local governments.  You can read the position announcement online and, for questions or to submit your resume/cover letter, contact Carol McAmis at

A Very Personal Story about Smoke Alarms

Andy's Fire Story from South Metro Fire Rescue on Vimeo.

Thank you for sharing, Andy.

2011 Colorado Annual EM Conference - Preview

2011 Colorado’s Annual Emergency Management Conference
“Situational Awareness: Managing through an Emergency”

March 1 – 3, 2011
Note: Agenda begins at 10:00 a.m Tuesday March 1 and ends Thursday March 3
Conference Costs: $150.00

Embassy Suites Loveland Hotel and Conference Center
4705 Clydesdale Parkway
Loveland, CO 80538
(970) 593-6200

Tuesday March 1 and Wednesday March 2 presentations:

Managing Situational Awareness during an actual emergency, presented by Boulder County
Social Media – Situational Awareness
Information Sharing – Joint Information System
Managing Special/Functional Needs through an emergency
Agency with Jurisdiction
Managing Logistics – Resource Ordering and Management
EOC setup – Brainstorming Session
Navigation through WebEOC, during an emergency
Navigation through EMSystems by CDPHE
211 and how it worked during the Four Mile Fire in Boulder County
National Weather Service - utilizing weather related tools
Maximizing Effective Response Capacity by Minimizing Distraction
Engaging Schools in Emergency Management
Effective Use of HAM Volunteers in the EOC
Area Command
"Why Some Folks Survive Disasters and Others are Victims"
Mitigation Topics to be announced 
Recovery Topics to be announced

Thursday March 3 - Choice of:

a.) COVOAD conference
b.) Legal Issues workshop

This is just a preliminary "heads up" as many of the particulars, the registration site and further details are being hammered out.  We are getting excited about it, though, and couldn't help sharing!  Keep tuned here on and for more info as it becomes available.  

For any additional questions regarding the conference, contact Cindy Vonfeldt at

Course Announcement - Intermediate ICS Principles - Dec 13-14, 2010 - Pueblo, CO

Pueblo Chemical Depot will be hosting an ICS-300 Intermediate ICS Principles training course from Dec 13-14, 2010.  Registration for the course can be done through using Course ID 1005860.  For any questions, contact Robyn Knappe at or at (720) 852-6617.  You can also download a copy of the ICS-300 Pueblo Course flyer online.

2011 Community Specific Integrated Emergency Management Course

APPLICATIONS DUE:  January 11, 2011 to the state's Division of Emergency Management
Contact:  Robyn Knappe - or (720) 852-6617 
(download the announcement flyer)

The week long exercise based training “Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC)” is designed to take the whole team of professionals (up to 70) from a city or county to the National Emergency Training Center, Emmitsburg, MD for resident training working closely as a team to accomplish community emergency management objectives.

The IEMC program has been conducted for cities, counties, states and regions since 1982.  The IEMC is an exceptional training program held at the National Emergency Training Center.  For the 2012 fiscal year: the deadline for application is late January but to allow for state and FEMA review – all Colorado applications should be submitted to DEM by 1/11/2011. 

Applications are extensive and the chief elected official of the jurisdiction submits a letter of request, addressing the specific criteria to the State of Colorado, Robyn Knappe, State Training Officer, Division of Emergency Management.  The applications will be reviewed and prioritized for inclusion and forwarding to the FEMA Regional office for review.  For more information, contact Robyn Knappe, or 720-852-6617.  Please notify Robyn of your intent to submit a package so she can make sure the package is complete.

Communities must include the following in the letter of application:
- Application package for a Community Specific IEMC
- Population of jurisdiction
- Brief description of government structure (include organizational chart) clarify if the request is for a single county, city(ies) or both
- Narrative that includes the status of emergency management in the community, including the past disaster history
- Emergency management training and exercise history
- Specific hazards facing the jurisdiction and/or specific hazards addressed in the EOP
- Any major national events or special events planned for the jurisdiction
- The community emergency management objective(s) that will be accomplished through participation in the EIMC program

What does it cost?
Travel and lodging is reimbursable by FEMA if you fit the criteria (see website Lodging is dorm style and shuttles are generally available from the airport to Emmitsburg. Participants are required to purchase a meal ticket at EMI, which covers meals during the training event for 4.5 days.  Meals are NOT reimbursable by FEMA.

It is important to assemble a multidisciplinary team of individuals from the same jurisdiction who are committed to the training.

Who should attend?
Elected officials are an important audience.  The IEMC is also designed for management and operations personnel from:
- Fire service
- Law enforcement
- Public works
- Emergency medical
- Business and industry
- Emergency management
- Military
- Government
- Coroner
- Public affairs
- Public health
- Other partners/stakeholders such as: transportation, schools, social service, volunteer agencies, finance, planning, water, parks and recreation, other

Who has attended from Colorado in recent years?
- Adams County
- Arapahoe County
- Colorado Springs
- Boulder
- Denver
- Ft. Collins
- El Paso County
- Jefferson
- Larimer County
- Westminster

Emergency personnel can attain readiness either through managing emergencies or through participating in exercises. Clearly, exercises are the preferred method of gaining the necessary expertise. The Integrated Emergency Management Course, offered by the Emergency Management Institute of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), places public officials and emergency personnel in a realistic crisis situation within a structured learning environment. Early in the course, an emergency scenario begins to unfold in sequence with classroom-style lectures, discussions and small-group workshops. As the course progresses, scenario-related events of increasing complexity, threat, and pressure occur. Participants develop emergency policies, plans, and procedures to ensure an effective response. The course culminates in an emergency exercise designed to test participant knowledge, awareness, flexibility, leadership, and interpersonal skills under extreme pressure. Participants are challenged to use the new ideas, skills, and abilities in addition to their own knowledge and experience. In this way, the Integrated Emergency Management Course allows individuals to rehearse their real-life roles in a realistic emergency situation, while at the same time identifying additional planning needs.

Each year various States, counties, cities, and Indian communities throughout the United States express an interest in FEMA/EMI conducting an IEMC for their jurisdictions emergency management officials and responders. Community specific IEMC's require a major commitment from both the community and FEMA, as well as from the FEMA regional office and State office of emergency management involved. Because the demand for community specific IEMC's exceeds the resources to deliver them, application criteria and a formal selection process have been established as follows: 
- Steps in the Application/Selection Process
- The chief elected official of the jurisdiction submits a letter of request, addressing the specified criteria, to his/her respective State office of emergency management.
- If the State office of emergency management supports the request, it should attach a letter of endorsement outlining how acceptance of this request will meet State emergency management objectives. Note: At this stage in the request, the State may elect not to forward the request but, instead, work with the community (especially if the community is under 100,000 in population) to conduct the G110 Emergency Management Operations Course (EMOC) for the community.
- If approved by the State office, the request should be forwarded to FEMA Region VIII Training for review. The FEMA Regional office, if it supports the application, should include an endorsement for each community it recommends. If more than one jurisdiction is submitted, the FEMA region should prioritize its recommendations.

Applications should be received at the FEMA Regional Headquarters and forwarded to FEMA National Headquarters. EMI staff and FEMA program office representatives will review the applications and rank them based on regional priority and information provided in the requests. Acceptance will be made by Spring 2011 for the year 2012. Jurisdictions can set the dates they want to attend.

Communities that have been accepted will be notified, as will communities that were not accepted. Appropriate FEMA regional offices and State emergency management offices also will be notified.
Communities that were not selected and that want to be reconsidered for the following year must re-apply. Applications will not automatically be considered for the following year.
Communities must include the following in their letter of application:
- A letter of support signed by the highest official in the jurisdiction.
- Population of jurisdiction.
- A brief description of the government structure (include organizational chart if possible); clarify if the request is for a single county or city or a combination of both.
- A narrative that includes the status of emergency management in the community, including past disaster history.
- Emergency management training and exercise history.
- Specific hazards facing the jurisdiction and/or specific hazards requested to be addressed in the IEMC.
- Any major national events or special events planned for the jurisdiction, such as sporting events, conventions, etc.
- The community emergency management objective(s) that will be accomplished.
- Types of Community Specific Programs

The following types of community specific programs are available to federal, state, local, and tribal communities:
- IEMC All Hazards Response and Recovery
- IEMC All Hazards Preparedness and Response
- IEMC All Hazards Recovery and Mitigation
- IEMC Earthquake Response and Recovery
- IEMC Earthquake Preparedness and Response
- IEMC Earthquake Recovery and Mitigation
- IEMC Hurricane Response and Recovery
- IEMC Hurricane Preparedness and Response
- IEMC Hurricane Recovery and Mitigation
- IEMC Hazardous Materials Preparedness and Response
- IEMC Consequences of Terrorism
- IEMC Special Events (For local and State emergency management)
- IEMC State Government (For State Emergency Management Agencies)

If you cannot assemble a team from an entitiy individuals can take many of the IEMC’s at EMI with a team of individuals from around the country. Call or email Robyn Knappe 720-852-6617 or at for more information.

Website:  Training and Education – Community Specific IEMC

Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Teams Recruiting for Vacancies/Trainees

The Rocky Mountain Area (RMA) Coordinating Group is recruiting fill several incident management team (IMT) vacancies and unassigned trainees for all IMTs and Rocky Basin Buying Teams for 2011.  Each of the four IMTs in the RMA have slightly different needs/positions, so all interested individuals are encouraged to apply.  This is a great opportunity to serve, gain experience and make a difference.  Learn more about the RMA Recruitment Announcement and get application information online.

Denver UASI Presents: Shared Strategies for Homeland Security

Just a reminder - In December 2010, Denver's Urban Area Security Initiative Program will be hosting a unique homeland security conference titled, "Denver UASI Presents:  Shared Strategies for Homeland Security".  Like many agencies and partners across the area, we are pitching in here at the Division to help support and participate in the conference.  As a part of this support, I recently got a sneak peek at the developing speaker's list and jumped at the chance to help!

Actually... in reading details on the speakers and participants, Denver UASI is going to be hosting what appears to be 4 conferences in 1 with the primary goal of bringing together emergency managers/first responders, healthcare professionals, business and critical infrastructure representatives and community preparedness and resiliency experts together to share ideas on how to improve collective security.  Organized by tracks to help subject matter experts share ideas within their areas and then through combined, joint sessions with the other tracks, the conference will be a ground-breaking effort in information-sharing.

While there are more details available about the conference schedule and speakers on the Conference's blog site at, I can pass on that the conference will host Israeli improvised explosive device (IED) experts, representatives from the Israeli emergency medical services, including from Magan David Adom, and a growing number of national experts in warning systems, initial/first response, emergency medical services, legal issues and social media. 

For more on the conference, check out the following:

FEMA Resources for Emergency Managers and Personnel

If you are in emergency management and have not checked in with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's resource page for Emergency Managers and Personnel page, you are missing out.

On the page, emergency managers will find information and links spanning the National Incident Management System, Grants, Training, Contacts, Response and Recovery, Planning, Best Practices and additional resources.  By combining a solid landing page for basic FEMA links to training and daily reports as well as links on to lessons learned and best practices resource, it is a simple and useful bookmark in your emergency management resource links.  In particular, the Best Practices section highlights mitigation best practices and case studies, as well as exemplay practices in emergency management from the Partnerships in Preparedness series.  Both of these series draw upon actual case studies at the local, state and federal level that you might find applicable in your community or region. 

The page provides an easy-to-navigate interface and gets you in to the basic or more detailed information quickly.  It is definitely worth a minute to check out!

Inaugural Colorado Emergency Management Academy

This week, the Division launched its' inaugural Colorado Emergency Management Academy. The goal of the Academy is to equip newer emergency managers with hands-on preparedness/mitigation, planning, response and recovery skills to allow them to be confident and competent in handling a disaster in their jurisdiction.  Thirty applicants were accepted to be a part of this first class for 2010/2011 year.

The program schedule spans nine months, anchored by a series of resident courses with one course per quarter until July 2011.  Outside the classroom series, participants must also complete a number of independent study courses online.  In order to be accepted to the program, applicants must complete seven FEMA courses, called the Professional Development Series, as prerequisites in addition to other training.  In July 2011, the participants will attend the culminating training event for a week-long resident set of courses designed to meet the Advanced Professional Series and build strong emergency response skills.

Congratulations to the emergency management cadre selected from across the State of Colorado that includes city, county, higher education, law enforcement and tribal emergency managers and their staff members. DEM's State Training Officer, Robyn Knappe stated “The cross section of talent all in one room is going to be exciting to work with for the coming months. We all look forward to the training series.”

For more information regarding the training course, contact DEM's State Training Officer, Robyn Knappe, at or at (720) 852-6617.

Job Announcement - City of Colorado Springs Fire Department Principal Analyst - Public Communications

The City of Colorado Springs Fire Department is hiring a Principal Analyst - Public Communications.  The position will oversee, direct and coordinate the operations and activities of the Fire Department's public/local media relations and collaborate wit the City's Public Information Officer about matters related to emergency communications.  The candidate will provide public information responses for emergency and non-emergent fire department requests; develop and implement the department's community education, community relations an communication goals/objectives; and ensure program compliance with state and other applicable governing rules, regulations and standards.

The interviews for this position will take place on or about the week of November 25, 2010.  The City of Colorado Springs application is online at http://www.springsgov.comThe application must be received no later than 11:59 PM on November 12, 2010.

Dome Fire - Boulder OEM Info/Resources

Local OEM Information (shelters/housing, volunteers/donations and local gov response)
Boulder Emergency Management -
Boulder County (and City) Government -

Boulder Call Center for public inquiries - (303) 413-7730

For additional information monitor #boulderfire on Twitter at

Course Announcement - Grant Writing - 12/2-3/2010 - Denver, CO

The Denver Regional Council of Governments and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop, December 2-3, 2010.  In this class you'll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals.

This training is applicable to grant seekers across all disciplines. Beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend.

Multi-enrollment discounts and discounts for Grant Writing USA returning alumni are available.  For more information on the course, go to the course announcement website or contact Cathy Rittenhouse, Grant Writing USA Registrar, at (800) 814-8191 or at (217) 935-5886.

Colorado Winter Weather Terminology and Information Sources

While yesterday we focused on travel tips/safety under Colorado's Winter Weather Awareness Week, today we shift focus to winter weather advisories, watches, warnings and all the other terminology that accompanies the notice that winter conditions are either on the way or ongoing.  Today, we will cover both the terminology and also how to gain access to it using Colorado-specific points for information.

Winter weather conditions arguably have the most fascinating and colorful language of all the weather periods.  Starting with horrifically-sounding "thunder snow" (thunderstorm where precipitation is snow rather than rain) to the equally attention-grabbing "snow eater" (term used to describe warm, dry wind that melts snow) or even "freezing drizzle" (describes condition where small water droplets freeze upon contact with a surface), winter weather is abound with great terms.  Incidentally, our other non-winter weather terminology favorites that could also double as rock band names?  Hail Core.  Fire Tornado.  Wall Cloud. 

The most important words, of course, according to our friends at the National Weather Service, are:
  • Winter Storm WATCH - A winter storm watch is issued when winter storm conditions are possible within the next 3 days but the timing, intensity or occurence may still be uncertain.
  • Winter Storm WARNING - Heavy snow is occurring or will develop in the next 36 hours.  This snow may be accompanied by winds greater than 15 mph and blowing snow.
  • Blizzard WATCH - A blizzard watch is issued when blizzard conditions are possible in the next 12 to 36 hours.
  • Blizzard WARNING - Blizzard warnings are issued in lower elevations when heavy snow is expected to last 3 or more hours with sustained winds of 35 mph or greater and when there is considerable falling and or drifting snow that reduces visibility to less than 1/4 mile.  In the mountains, a blizzard warning is also accompanied by an expectation that winds will exceed 50 mph at higher elevations.
  • Wind Chill WATCH - A wind chill watch is issued in advance of a wind chill warning, usually 12 to 36 hours in advance of the expectation that a warning will be issued.
  • Wind Chill WARNING -  The wind chill warning is issued for wind chills of least -25 degrees on the plains and -35 degrees in the mountains or foothills.
  • Freeze WATCH - Similar to the wind chill watch, a freeze watch is issued in advance of an anticipated freeze warning, usually 12 to 36 hours in advance of when the freeze warning will be issued.
  • Freeze WARNING -  Freeze warnings are issued during growing seasons when temperatures are expected to drop below 32 degrees.
  • High Wind WATCH -  When high wind conditions are expected to develop in the next 12 to 36 hours, a high wind watch is issued.
  • High Wind WARNING - Sustained winds of 50 mph for at least 1 hour or gusts up to 75 mph for any duration in the mountains or foothills will trigger a high wind warning.  In lower elevations, the criteria is somewhat less, set at sustained winds of 40 mph for at least 1 hour or gusts up to 58 mph for any duration.
  • Winter Weather Advisory - A winter weather advisory is the "heads up" that general snow accumulations between 4 and 8 inches over a 12 hour period in the mountains and 3 to 6 inches over a 12 hour period in lower elevations, are expected.  In addition, if visibility is expected to diminish as falling and blowing snow make it difficult to see or if wind blown snow is anticipated to create a visibility hazard for travelers, a winter weather advisory may be issued.  Even freezing drizzle and other conditions involving snow and sleet that primarily impact driving conditions may trigger a winter weather advisory.
  • Dense Fog Advisory - Dense fog advisories are issues when fog will reduce visibility to less than a quarter mile.
  • Wind Chill Advisory - In the mountains, a wind chill advisory will be issued when values are in the -25 degree range and on the plains, a wind chill advisory will be issued when values are between -18 and -25 degrees.
  • Frost Advisory - Unique to the growing season, a frost advisory is issued when temps are expected to drop to between 32 and 35 degrees on clear, calm nights.
There are a number of ways in Colorado to keep up with the advisories, watches and warnings.   As with all emergency public information and warnings, the best practice is to monitor a number of different information points.  So, where can you go in Colorado for advisories, watches and warnings?
And for the best information regarding your own emergency kits for your home/car, for tips on creating a family communications plan and much, much more, keep up with READYColorado at

2010 Colorado Rural Electric Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan - Draft Document for Comment

The Mitigation and Recovery Team is pleased to release a draft of the Colorado Rural Electric Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan.  This plan serves as a supporting document to the State of Colorado Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan.

The Mitigation and Recovery Team, along with the Colorado Rural Electric Association and rural electric cooperatives serving Colorado, has been working since March to develop this new mitigation plan. The goal was to develop a plan that meets national planning standards while providing additional opportunities for disaster resilience and recovery activities for the State’s rural electric providers.

Portions of the hazard risk assessment in the rural electric mitigation plan refers to the state plan for details and statewide analysis. Please see the risk assessment from the state plan for additional information.

Colorado Rural Electric Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan
-- Project Summary - view online or download
-- REC Mitigation Plan - view online or download

Links to these documents will also be maintained on the DEM Mitigation Team's page at (at the "mitigation" tab, above)

Before the Division of Emergency Management submits this plan to FEMA for approval, we wanted to provide our state’s rural electric cooperatives, as well as our federal, local and non-profit partners and individual citizens with a chance to review the plan and provide any comments that might make this plan stronger.  If you have any, please forward them to Ken Brink ( as soon as possible, and by the close of business on Wednesday, October 27 at the latest.

We are extremely grateful to our partners who helped to develop this plan!

Colorado Winter Weather Awareness Week - 10/24-30

This October 24-30, Governor Ritter and Colorado's Division of Emergency Management joins the National Weather Service to remind Coloradans about Winter Weather Preparedness.  With the first major storm of the season hitting the high country and other areas of the state, the timing couldn't be better.

There are a number of resources available to keep you, your family and friends prepared and informed as the snow and ice return to Colorado.  The National Weather Service maintains a comprehensive Winter Weather links page that provides a number of Colorado-specific reports, avalanche information and preparedness information.  In addition to keeping up with the latest NWS Colorado Weather Advisories/Watches and Warnings, you should know what your local "sources" for emergency information, including available sms/text/email alerts, websites, local contact numbers and emails.  These local sources will be the best contacts for specific hazard and response actions in your area or the area to which you are traveling.  For specific tips on preparedness, there are some great winter preparedness checklists available online from READYColorado.

Each day this week we, along with the National Weather Service, will be emphasizing a certain aspect of winter preparedness including winter travel safety, watches/warnings/advisories, high winds, wind chill temperatures and hypothermia, and avalanche safety.

We are kicking off the week with a focus on winter travel safety.  At the beginning of the winter season and periodically through the season, it is essential to ensure your vehicle(s) are equipped to head out into the snow.

Suggestions on how to winterize your car include:
  • Battery and ingnition system should be in top condition and battery terminals clean
  • Ensure antifreeze levels are sufficient to avoid freezing
  • Ensure the heater and defroster work properly
  • Check and repair windshield wiper equipment; ensure proper washer fluid level
  • Ensure the thermostat works properly
  • Check lights and flashing hazard lights for serviceability
  • Check for leaks and crimped pipes in the exhaust system; repair or replace as necessary
  • Check breaks for wear and fluid levels
  • Check oil for level and weight - heavier oils congeal more at low temps
  • Consider snow tires, snow tires with studs or chains
  • Replace fuel and air filters - keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining full tank
  • Remember to keep a winter weather emergency kit in your vehicle, just in case...
Winter Weather Vehicle Emergency Kit - more from READYColorado
  • Extra clothing, such as blankets, coats, hat and gloves
  • Shovel
  • Flares and jumper cables
  • Water and foods, such as trail mix and snacks
Driving safely on icy roads
  • DO NOT PASS snow plows or sand trucks in operation!!!
  • Allow extra time for any travel
  • Decrease speed - stopping on ice and snow requires greater distance
  • Brake gently to avoid sliding or skidding
  • If your brakes do lock up, ease up on the brakes to regain traction
  • Use lower gears in poor conditions to maintain traction
  • Be careful when crossing bridges/overpasses as they will ice faster than roadways
Help, I am stuck!!!
  • Do not spin your wheels - this is only going to dig you in deeper
  • Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to clear snow immediately around the tire(s)
  • Use a shovel to clear snow around the wheels and underside of the car
  • Use sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in front of the tires to increase traction
Be sure to check out our earlier article for more Winter Weather Preparedness Tips!

Winter Weather Preparedness Tips

It is about that time to get our winter weather legs under us and remember what it is like to properly prepare for and get through winter storms.  What follows are number of general safety tips regarding what to do in advance of and during winter storms.  Be prepared and be safe!

BEFORE the storm...
  • Be familiar with winter storm warning messages -
  • Service snow removal equipment and have rock salt on hand to melt ice on walkways and kitty litter to generate temporary traction. 
  • Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.
  • Winterize your home
  • Insulate walls and attic. 
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows. 
  • Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
Have safe emergency heating equipment available.
  • Fireplace with ample supply of wood. 
  • Small, well-vented, wood, coal, or camp stove with fuel. 
  • Portable space heaters. (Kerosene Heaters: Check with your local fire department on the legality of using kerosene heaters in your community. Use only the correct fuel for your unit and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Refuel outdoors only, and only when cool. Keep your kerosene heater at least 3 feet away from furniture and other flammable objects.)
  • Install and check smoke detectors.
Keep pipes from freezing.
  • Wrap pipes in insulation or layers of old newspapers. 
  • Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture. 
  • Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing. 
  • Know how to shut off water valves.
Have disaster supplies on hand, in case the power goes out -
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit
  • One-week supply of food (include items that do not require refrigeration or cooking in case the power is shut off)
  • Manual can opener
  • One-week supply of essential prescription medications.
  • Extra blankets and sleeping bags
  • Fire extinguisher (A-B-C type)
Develop an emergency communication plan.
  • In case family members are separated from one another during a winter storm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together. 
  • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." 
  • After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person. 
  • Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a severe winter storm. 
  • Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department, and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.

DURING the storm...

If Indoors --
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly. 
  • Conserve fuel. 
  • Lower the thermostat to 65 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night. Close off unused rooms. 
  • If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. 
  • Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate). 
  • Listen to the radio or television to get the latest information.
If Outdoors --
  • Dress warmly. 
  • Wear loose-fitting, layered, light-weight clothing. Layers can be removed to prevent perspiration and chill. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellant. Mittens are warmer than gloves because fingers generate warmth when they touch each other. 
  • Stretch before you go out. 
  • If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. Also take frequent breaks. 
  • Cover your mouth. 
  • Protect your lungs from extremely cold air by covering your mouth when outdoors. Try not to speak unless absolutely necessary. 
  • Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unaccustomed exercise such as shoveling snow or pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse. Be aware of symptoms of dehydration. 
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. 
  • Keep dry. 
  • Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly. 
  • Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.

Day Four - Colorado Integrated Emergency Management Course

"Short-Term Recovery." It sounds so simple.  It reads so easy on the top, title line of the exercise book page.  But, these four words don't even begin to represent the scope of effort involved.  The storm clouds have cleared.  The multiple mega-level tornadoes have gone back up.  The sun is back out.  Under that sun, there are now tens of thousands homeless across the Front Range.  The fatalities/injured numbers are still being assessed.  On top of the human and animal impact, there are miles upon miles upon miles of debris - hazardous and material.  Power, communications, transportation routes, hospitals, schools, and on and on and on, all gone, damaged or otherwise unrecognizable and certainly unusable.

What... happens... now?  Short-Term Recovery.  In Colorado, recovery for an event of this magnitude requires the intimate cooperation and organization of emergency response, public, volunteer/nonprofit and private sector partners.  This was the purpose of today's State-level Integrated Emergency Management Course table-top exercise.  We assembled, in the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC), local, state, federal representatives from each of these groups for a discussion of how we collectively approach and tackle the recovery task.  If you are interested in the details of the current State Emergency Operations Plan, you can read the existing version online.  We are involved, currently, in a major update to this operations plan and this exercise, both the response and recovery modules, are a critical part of evaluating the plan and additional items that plan should address.

In particular, we addressed the challenges of transportation, communication, life-safety messages, public utilities, sheltering and housing, and basic needs assistance.  Organized into our State Recovery Task Force and the respective Emergency Support Functions of the State's Emergency Operations Center, we engaged in a structured and detailed evaluation of the short and longer-term challenges and missions for each of the challenges.

Now that the course has concluded, we will now turn to getting our minds and fingers to the task of going through the minutes, identifying lessons and issues requiring further action and getting a plan together that outlines what, who and how issues will be resolved that we identified during the exercise.  We will be posting much more information on this effort in the future as the reports are generated.  Of course, the ultimate product of this effort will be captured in our update to the State Emergency Operations Plan.  In particular, at the conclusion of today's activities, the Emergency Management Institute team provided participants with the a suite of electronic materials.  In the coming weeks, I will be going through these materials and documents and making select documents available.

Specifically, our goal here at the Division is to expand upon this experience at the State-level and develop a training and exercise program that could be implemented in Colorado at the local and municipal level, organized and hosted by the State's Division of Emergency Management.  The concept, still in its infancy, is that we would bring state-level EOC teams comprised of various State-level Emergency Support Function representatives to host a two-day course for local emergency operations centers.  Conceptually, the first day would be a review and training class with the second day a functional exercise.  There will be more on this to come, too!

Course Announcement - PER-213 Wide Area Search Training - Nov 30-Dec 2 - Lakewood, CO

The Denver Urban Area Security Initiative (Denver-UASI) and North Central Region Training Committee is hosting a Wide Area Search Training (PER-213) from November 30 - December 2, 2010 at the West Metro Fire Rescue Training Center at 3535 South Kipling, Lakewood, CO.

The Wide Area Search course is grant-funded by the Department of Homeland Security.  The course is provided on-site for eligible jurisdictions throughout the United States.  The course is applicable to jurisdictions that would need to conduct wide area searches due to a natural disaster or terrorist incident.  Participants will learn practical search methods and skills in order to perform systematic searches over a large affected area.  The course concludes with a table top exercise that requires participants to utilize the previous two days of instruction.  The curriculum of this course is based on lessons learned from search operations in support of the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Dolly, Ike and other wide area search incidents.

Enrollment must occur through you agency training administrator or contact Tom Witowski at (720) 865-7651 or at

Course Announcement - ICS-300 - Nov 29-30 - Salida, CO

The South Central All-Hazards Region, which is comprised of Chaffee, El Paso, Lake, Park, Teller Counties and the City of Colorado Springs, is hosting an ICS-300 Course from November 29-30, 2010, in Salida, CO.

The course provides training on and resources for personnel who require advanced application of the Incident Command System (ICS).  The target audience for this course is for individuals who may assume a supervisory role in expanding incidents or Type 3 incidents.

To register, please go to (Course ID:  1005860).  You can also view/download the course flyer.

All-Hazards Incident Management Team Training and Education Conference - 12/7-9 - Denver, CO

The All-Hazards Incident Management Team Training and Education Conference will be held December 7-9th, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency at the Denver Convention Center.  The conference is designed to provide policy and decision makers, IMT members, training coordinators and team managers with concise and detailed information regarding the continuing development of All-Hazards Incident Management Teams.  Training and education will include best practices and lessons learned from other IMT members.  For more information about the conference, download the All-Hazards Incident Management Team Training and Education Conference Flyer or go to or contact or at (559) 683-7800.

Front Range Emergency Management Forum Meeting - 11/10 - Denver, CO

The next Front Range Emergency Management Forum meeting will be held on November 10th, from 9:30 am - 11:30 am.  The meeting will be held at the new Disaster Management Institute of Colorado at 9235 East 10th Drive, Building 859, Denver CO 80230.  This meeting will have an academic/education theme with speakers from various programs around the state talking about their programs.  There will also be information provided about the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) process for those who are interested in these certifications.  For any questions,

Day Three - Colorado Integrated Emergency Management Course

I think our Finance and Admin Lead here at DEM summarized today's exercise activity well when, on the way out afterwards, he said "well.. we got requests, we filled requests... and we spent a lot of [fictional] money".  Out of context, that might not sound like a great achievement, but for a state-level Emergency Management office responding to a large, mega-scale disaster exercise scenario that is a proud achievement.  Our task at the Division, when you boil everything down, is pretty clear.  Emergency managers at the State-level are in place to anticipate needs of local authorities/first responders, field requests for equipment, staff or other assistance locals cannot meet with their own resources in responding to an emergency, and to facilitate access to funding streams so that money doesn't become a roadblock to providing help to people that need it.  So, in this case, getting requests, filling requests and responsibly spending fictional money means that the system - while under a HUGE amount of stress - worked.

That said.  We broke a lot of things (not physically...).  That sounds bad but, again, it isn't.  An exercise where everything works achieves little.  Exercises are intended to identify weaknesses, gaps, and those things you didn't think about yet.  The point is to see how capable and flexible you - as a group and individuals - are to responding to challenges.   In this exercise, We tested new procedures and groups, such as a dedicated situational awareness unit.  We implemented new systems, such as a wide establishment and operation of a shared collaboration site to facilitate communications between public affairs reps involved in response.  We utilized an entire new resource ordering and tracking system, designed to help better understand requests received, status of approval and implementation.  Our goal, which was painfully achieved (poking fun...) due to the rigorous injects and pace of our Emergency Management Institute exercise hosts, was to stress the system, see where the breaks occurred so that we could repair them in the after action phase.

The scenario, if you are interested, was for a swarm of major tornadoes to hit across the Front Range causing catastrophic damage and countless secondary issues designed to overwhelm every aspect of initial and emergency response/support.  Achieved.  It was a difficult, long day.  Despite the horrific scenario and doubtless adverse impact such an event would have, we were able to test the systems, establish a rhythm and validate many procedures that would be necessary to help us organize to begin the process of communicating with and coordinating provision of resources to local responders and communities.  The skeleton got bent, battered and twisted, but it didn't break.

Of course, we aren't done, yet.  Today was only the first part of a two-part exercise.  While today's activities emphasized response, situational awareness, public information and warning, tomorrow's exercise activities will focus on recovery.

Day Two - Colorado Integrated Emergency Management Course

If we only had four words to summarize today's course subject areas, they would be (in order):  planning, planning, resources, planning.  We did have a healthy situational awareness module, but most of the effort of the presentations and the two tabletop exercise modules rotated around planning and resource identification/allocation.

Successful Planning
Drawing from both the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8 and the Comprehensive Preparedness Guidelines - 101, the facilitators led discussions on planning considerations and process.  Rotating around the model of successful planning, which includes acceptability, adequacy, completeness, consistency, feasibility, flexibility and inter-operable collaboration, participants discussed the top-level of planning methodologies.  While we did not get into the specifics of the Colorado Emergency Operations Plan, the basic scenarios were used as catalysts for participant discussions on particular roles, responsibilities and capabilities of involved agencies.  One of the more interesting discussion threads was the need to move the trigger point of private sector involvement further up in the planning process than where it sometimes normally resides in emergency management, at the point of "I need".  While there is some work in this area going on in Colorado, such as the collaboration accomplished through the Colorado Emergency Preparedness Partnership and the resource initiatives being led by the Division of Fire Safety, this was generally agreed as an area in which to expand efforts.

Situational Awareness/Common Operating Picture
In wonderful simplicity, situational awareness was described as "my perception," while common operating picture was identified as "our collective perception."  Regardless of an incident's cause or scale, situational awareness is always a complex issue.  Establishing sources and flow of information and understanding which actions are taking place where is a responsibility of all involved in the response effort.  The critical key, of course, is to ensure the information flow process on how information is taken in and to whom it is provided in a standardized fashion is understood and implemented in a standardized, regularized manner (It is something we have been working within our EOC and we are looking forward to testing our new procedures during the exercise tomorrow!)  Gaining information is only half of the challenge, however.  The second challenge is in rendering that information into an easily understandable and accessible format that provides all agencies - which can include hundreds in a major response - can access and put to use.  If you are involved in emergency management and interested in some useful tools available to help spur consideration and improve these two aspects of response, check out the Lessons Learned Information Sharing tool, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Table Top Exercise
Several hours of the day were dedicated to a group tabletop exercise where small groups tackled a series of questions (largely planning-based) rotating around an improvised explosive device scenario.

The most Colorado-specific portion of today's activities was the presentation and discussion over the Division of Fire Safety's efforts to improve our resource mobilization tools in the State (pic right).  This system, still in development, will help dramatically increase our state capabilities to identify, request, mobilize, track, monitor an demobilize people and material being applied to an incident.  From the presentation, it is clear it will include nonprofit and private sector resources, mapping capabilities and more.

Tomorrow is the main exercise day (tornado response scenario), followed by another exercise on Friday that will focus on recovery efforts.  Should be fun!!!

State Planning Officer - CO Hazards Briefing

Kerry Kimble's (State Planning Officer) Colorado Hazards Briefing - including the notes pages - provided during the State Integrated Emergency Management Course has been posted for online viewing or downloading.

Day One - Colorado's Integrated Emergency Management Course

Alright, so we made it through the first day of our State-level Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC).  With nearly 60 students and instructors occupying a windowless basement training room, each presented with an impressively heavy course material book (pictured), first impressions were that the day had the potential to be an uncomfortably long slog.  Ask anyone in the room at the end.  It wasn't!  It was a great first day!

If you are not familiar with the IEMC, it is a class offered by the federal Emergency Management Institute and is designed to provide a structured training environment and realistic exercise(s) for emergency operations center (EOC) staff at the local and, in our case, state-levels.  Unlike a normal emergency management course where personnel collect in one room from various backgrounds who often do not work together, this course is a specifically-formulated and targeted for a unique EOC and its operating staff, using hazards those staff are likely to face and which is tailored to the EOC's operations environment.

With just the right number of State Emergency Operations Center and Field Staff and with a number of partner agencies - including from transportation, health, nongovernmental and private sector - the room was well-balanced for a Colorado team training exercise.

Like any training course, the initial modules introduced the participants and covered the broad, overview information related to the National Response Framework and the National Incident Management System.  What made the training unique was that, between an active senior-level direct participation (the State's Emergency Management Deputy Director Bruce Holloman is both a student and presenter at the Colorado Course - pictured) and  an EMI instructor cadre who was both incredibly personable and whom had clearly done their homework on Colorado, the material bridged the gap between doctrinal structure and on-the-ground implementation.  Example? One of the more handy, one-pagers distributed was an org/information flow chart that provided a birds eye view of incident information flow during a large-scale incident (embedded below) that involves local, state and federal resources.

For each big-picture concept there was specific discussion, presentations or material then provided that were Colorado-specific.  The above chart was quickly complimented by understanding how Colorado's Emergency Operations Center basic structure is organized.  The intent of the course is clear.  The intent is to explore and evaluate how Colorado's system integrates into the National Response Framework to improve leadership, management, efficiency and communication.  I have embedded a copy of the EOC structure chart for the Thursday exercise below.  These two documents give a solid understanding - even to the rookie field - of the basics of our organization, lines of communication and where to go for information when responding to a growing or large-scale incident.

While we covered the "how" of incident management via the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the "who" of incident management articulated in the National Response Framework (NRF), the Emergency Management Institute instructors did so in a manner that made the terminology, with which many in the room were familiar, in a new light.   By using specific examples of instructor participation in past, large-scale events they were able to relate in a personal manner how the concepts spelled out in both the system and framework were developed, refined and are currently being implemented.  If you are not as familiar with these concepts, a quick run-through of is highly recommended.

In addition to the instructors, a representative Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 8, which is located in Denver, also provided a history of emergency management legislation.  Using the context of the recent Colorado fires, this presentation spilled into an opportunity to discuss how decisions, such as damage assessments that factor into individual and public assistance, factor into the planning, response and recovery process.

The afternoon is where the course became really interesting.  As a way of reviewing material and testing, the instructors used a TV-style, quiz-show game - complete with on screen interactive displays of status - to review material.   With categories focused on Roles and Responsibilities, Response Actions, Response Organizations, Planning, the Incident Command System and the National Incident Management System, the interactive style worked and had everyone engaged.

In addition to the quiz show, there was a comprehensive presentation made by our State Planning Officer to the group on Colorado-specific hazards.   I think the briefing was one of the better presentations I have seen on the subject of which hazards we face here, be they a wildland fire, avalanche, rockslide or tornado.  I have asked our Planning Officer for an electronic copy and will post it as soon as I get in here on our COEmergency site, probably tomorrow.

As for tomorrow, the plan is to progress from the big picture and get into all-hazards emergency planning, situational awareness and common operating pictures, a couple of tabletop exercises.  Keep checking back!  Our intent over the next few days as we progress from the introductory briefings and into the tabletop and exercise(s) scheduled for later this week is to provide an informal look-in on what our experience is with the course.  We will be posting photos, resource links and other materials as we go along!