News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: September 20, 2016

Summit County to Conduct Mass Casualty Incident Exercise Sept. 28

Photo of a Summit County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle, with lights on.

Emergency response agencies will participate in a simulated mass shooting at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and the Riverwalk Center

Rob Pearce, Director, Summit County Emergency Management
Joel Cochran, Undersheriff, Summit County Sheriff’s Office

SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit County Office of Emergency Management and several partner organizations will conduct a large-scale mass-casualty incident exercise on Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the Frisco and Breckenridge areas. The exercise will serve as a training opportunity for more than 100 emergency responders, hospital personnel and public officials in multiple agencies throughout the community.

Participating agencies will respond to a simulated mass casualty incident resulting from an active shooter inside St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco, who then flees to the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. The exercise is designed to test real-time emergency response and coordination among multiple agencies. Emphasis will be placed on resource ordering, inter-agency communications, public information, patient-to-family communication, patient reunification and incident management.

“We certainly hope that a mass shooting never takes place in our community, but we have to be diligent about preparing for this type of event,” Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said. “These exercises give us the opportunity to ensure that we have the right systems in place to collaborate with one another in response to major disasters and emergencies that affect multiple jurisdictions.”

Large numbers of uniformed personnel and emergency vehicles will be in the vicinity of Summit Medical Center and the Riverwalk Center throughout the day on Sept. 28 and may be visible along Highway 9 from Frisco to Breckenridge. In Breckenridge, the entire Tiger Dredge Parking Lot and a portion of F Lot will be closed to the public all day. Community members may receive test emergency alert messages via the Summit County Alert notification system on the day of the event.

“Our law enforcement officers, emergency medical workers and other responders in Summit County are highly skilled, and they’re out there every day protecting public health and safety,” Summit County Emergency Management Director Rob Pearce said. “But we use these kinds of exercises to test, assess and improve their resiliency for incidents that are much larger, more complex and more stressful than they typically see in their day-to-day work.”

An active shooter is a person actively engaged in harming or attempting to harm people in a confined and populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms, and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Though each active shooter situation is unique, there are common traits:
• Active shooters often go to locations where potential victims are close at hand, such as schools, shopping centers and workplaces. They are usually familiar with the location.
• Active shooters assault people with whom they come into contact, quickly engaging multiple targets.
• Active shooters may have a planned attack and may be prepared for confrontation with law enforcement.
• Active shooters typically continue their attack despite the arrival of emergency responders.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office encourages community members to report any suspicious or threatening behaviors that could signal a potential shooting or other violent crime. Such behaviors and activities may include an unauthorized person inside a restricted area, a person bringing a weapon into a school or workplace, a person collecting information about a building’s operations or security systems or an unauthorized vehicle parked in an unusual location.

Students in Colorado schools can take advantage of Safe2Tell anytime they feel unsafe or have concerns about potential acts of violence. Safe2Tell is a resource designed specifically to help young people in Colorado report any threatening behaviors or activities that endanger themselves or someone they know, in a way that keeps them safe and anonymous.

By calling 1-877-542-7233 or submitting a tip through, young people can help anyone who is in trouble or prevent a potential tragedy. The reporting system is a statewide initiative of the Colorado Department of Law, Office of the Attorney General.

Agencies and organizations participating in Wednesday’s exercise include the Summit County Office of Emergency Management, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Breckenridge, Summit County Ambulance Service, St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, Peak One Surgery Center, Dillon Police Department, Breckenridge Police Department, Frisco Police Department, Summit County Public Health, Summit County Human Services, American Red Cross, Summit County Coroner’s Office, Summit County 911 Center, Red, White and Blue Fire District, Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue, Copper Mountain Fire Department, Summit Fire Authority, Mind Springs Health, Summit School District and Arapahoe Basin Ski Patrol, among other partners.


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