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Operation Tempest
by Stormy on May 15, 2010

Colorado weather has been temperamental and it's good to know that there are people out there who are able to help in a disaster.

On May 14, 2010 Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State introduced a resolution to make the week of May 16 through May 22 National Search and Rescue Week. This is an important recognition of the people who volunteer their time to keep their communities safe. On May 15, 2010 the volunteer CERT and ARES units of the Colorado North Central All-Hazards Emergency Management Region took to the quiet streets of western Centennial to practice an organized response to a large scale disaster. In this scenario a tornado touched down in the Southglen neighborhood and left a wide path of destruction. One of the things in the path of the tornado was Ames Elementary School where weekend activities were in full swing. The job of the volunteer responders was to assess the damage, locate and extract all victims and initiate medical treatment. Considering that there were six dozen victims, the emergency responders had their job cut out for them. They had only themselves to rely on. There was no fire department or paramedic support until almost three hours into the exercise. It was up to them to bring order to massive devastation and manage the situation. The exercise included volunteer responders from a dozen agencies across the Front Range, including representatives from six Denver metropolitan counties. It looked to be a very successful exercise and I was very happy to be an observer for this event. How are you celebrating National Search and Rescue Week?

Volunteer responders stage to enter the tornado area.
(taken by Stormy on May 15, 2010)
Exercise medical treatment area ramps up to accept patients.
(taken by Stormy on May 15, 2010)
Responders manage patients taken out from the damaged school building.
(taken by Stormy on May 15, 2010)
The operation's base was a bustling area!
(taken by Stormy on May 15, 2010)


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