Monday, September 19, 2011

Better to plan ahead than ... get burned to death

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 3:39 PM

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When I first read this press release, I've got to say, I wasn't impressed.

I've included it below for your review, but let me save you a little time: The city wants volunteers to sit in a manmade traffic jam for two hours in the Broadmoor Bluffs area to demonstrate what would happen if a real evacuation of the area was needed.

Huh.

Maybe I just don't have the "Spirit of the Springs," as our mayor might call it, but there's no way you could convince me to do that. And despite having known some really charitable people in my lifetime, I can't imagine anyone I know waving their hand to volunteer for that little task.

But then I thought about it a little more. I mean, what if you lived in Broadmoor Bluffs? Wouldn't you want to help the firefighters just make sure that, you know, in the case of an emergency, you and your kids wouldn't fry in a raging inferno?

I mean, they never mention that in the press release — perhaps it just seemed too sensational to them. But that is kind of the point, right? And when you think about it that way, the traffic jam does seem much more appealing, doesn't it?

So anyway, as you can tell from the headline, I've decided to help the city PR department out and rebrand this effort with something that will scare your pants off. Because you and I both know that's the only reason you'd volunteer to sit in traffic for two hours.

City looking for Broadmoor Bluffs resident-volunteers for evacuation drill

The City of Colorado Springs has just about all it needs to conduct a full-scale wildfire exercise in the Broadmoor Bluffs area on Oct. 1 — everything except enough volunteers to simulate an evacuation.

“One key area we want to test is our ability to stream vehicle traffic away from the affected area, while directing emergency responders into the area. In order to do that successfully we need residents to volunteer to be evacuating drivers,” explained Colorado Springs Police Department Lt. Sean Mandel.

According to Mandel, volunteers will leave their homes the morning of the exercise and evacuate to a predetermined location. There they will be asked to provide information and feedback on the experience which will help emergency planners improve plans to save lives.

“The evacuation portion of the exercise will begin around 10 a.m. and will only last about two hours,” explained Mandel. “This small donation of time will pay big dividends in the future.”

Those interested in participating are asked to contact Mandel at: 385-7343, 499-5035 or mandelse@ci.colospgs.co.us.

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