Responders to practice casualty exercise at airport

Airline passengers, coming and going, will not be able to miss the Olympic display hanging overhead in the main concourse.

Residents may see smoke and several emergency vehicles near the Colorado Springs Airport Thursday as the Colorado Springs Airport and Office of Emergency Management conduct a mass casualty response exercise. Airport operations will not be affected by the exercise.

The exercise will allow personnel from all participating organizations to test their procedures in response to a simulated aircraft emergency and exercise the use of the National Incident Management System.

The exercise, which will take place from 7 a.m. to noon, will be divided into two phases: crash site response near the COS Airport; and patient in-processing at local hospitals.

The public may see smoke, fire, emergency vehicles, buses with “patients,” medevac helicopters and police foot patrols.

The second phase of the exercise includes hospital patient in-processing and will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Memorial Hospital-UC Health (central and north campuses), Penrose Hospital, St Francis Medical Center and Evans Army Community Hospital.

During this phase the public may see “airplane crash victims” with stage makeup to simulate serious injuries. They will be transported by emergency vehicles and buses to local hospitals around Colorado Springs.

Road closures will include Cresterra Parkway just south of Embraer Heights, south to Powers Boulevard from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires all airports with scheduled air carrier service to conduct a full-scale emergency exercise every three years and tabletop exercises all other years.

The 46 participating agencies to include:

  • City of Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management
  • Colorado Springs Airport
  • Colorado Springs Fire Department
  • Colorado Springs Police Department
  • Colorado Springs Dispatch
  • Colorado Springs Public Works and Transit Services
  • Colorado Springs Public Information
  • El Paso County Emergency Services
  • El Paso County Sheriff’s Office
  • El Paso County Public Health
  • El Paso County Coroner’s Office
  • Ft. Carson
  • Peterson Air Force Base
  • Memorial Hospital-UC Health (Central and North locations)
  • Penrose-St. Francis Health Services
  • Evans Army Community Hospital
  • American Medical Response
  • Black Forest Fire
  • Cimarron Hills Fire
  • Falcon Fire
  • Fountain Fire/Transport
  • Security Fire
  • Tri-Lakes Fire and Transport
  • Colorado State Patrol
  • Delta Airlines
  • Flight for Life
  • Memorial Star
  • Salvation Army
  • American Red Cross
  • Aspen Pointe
  • Bonfils Blood Center
  • Rocky Mountain Mobile Medical
  • Medical Reserve Corps of El Paso County

Follow the exercise on Twitter at @Springsgov or #SkyFallCOS for exercise information and coverage.