In Colorado, every county must designate someone to perform the functions of emergency planning, and that person needs help! The demands on a single person emergency management agency in any county are far greater than what one person can do alone. When this person is responsible for creating and facilitating exercises in their county, they often don’t get to train within the roles that they too would fill during an emergency. So Pitkin County, home to the city of Aspen, reached out for my help.
I met with the County Emergency Manager, asking questions to better understand how things work specific to their county and partners. No two counties are exactly alike! By taking all the information and incorporating it into the big picture we created an exercise that was tailored specifically to the actual functions of the county’s Emergency Operations Center and each Emergency Support Function.
We facilitated a fast-paced 5-hour exercise consisting of a multi-jurisdictional team of about 50 director-level professionals. We led them through exercise expectations, the scenario, situational awareness briefings and debriefings. Participants were engaged and everyone learned more about how to effectively fill their roles during an emergency. All of the feedback received from participants has been positive. The County Emergency Manager was so pleased that she has already requested my assistance with another exercise next year!