Don't Be Alarmed; Big Emergency Exercise Planned Friday

Terrorism Drill Involves 81 Agencies

If you see a lot of officers with simulated weapons at the Park Meadows Mall or Union Station Friday, don't be alarmed.

Eighty-one different groups are conducting a large-scale terrorism-based emergency exercise.

"Operation Mountain Guardian" will be conducted in 10 locations ranging from the mall, the airport and hospitals.

"It will include loud noises, simulated weapons, smoke, emergency vehicles and other equipment that will be audible and visible throughout the day," according to a news release.

The exercise is scheduled to begin at 5 a.m. and end by 4:30 p.m.

The locations of the exercise are:

Primary Locations

  • Park Meadows Mall
  • Smedley Elementary School
  • Denver Union Station
  • Community College of Aurora (Lowry Campus)

Secondary Locations

  • Denver International Airport
  • Sky Ridge Medical Center
  • Denver Health Medical Center
  • University of Colorado Hospital
  • Catholic Charities (NW Denver)
  • Sports Authority Field at Mile High

The exercise is meant to test regional first responders during a terrorist-driven catastrophic scenario.

"Exercise play" will occur at the four primary sites and DIA.

Catholic Charities and Sports Authority Field at Mile High will participate in an administrative fashion to test student/teacher processing activities.

Sky Ridge Medical Center, Denver Health Medical Center, and University of Colorado Hospital will participate for the purpose of testing medical surge capabilities and communicating within Incident Command.

The exercise is a Homeland Security Grant funded event made possible due to grant funding from the Department of Homeland Security through FEMA Region VIII and the State of Colorado Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.

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