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Emergency Preparedness Drill August 12

The Adams State University campus will be the site of a mock incident drill Wednesday morning, August 12, from approximately 7 to 9 a.m.

The Adams State University campus will be the site of a mock incident drill Wednesday morning, August 12, from approximately 7 to 9 a.m.

“This is a joint training exercise to allow the university, hospital and first responders to test all of our personnel and systems,” explained Adams State Chief of Police Paul Grohowski. “The exercise will help us to identify deficits in procedures and improve them, and to enhance our communication and collaboration with our partners.”

Drill participants will include the Adams State Police Department and university staff, SLV Health and area ambulance services, the Alamosa Police Department, Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, and the Alamosa Fire Department. “All normal law enforcement services will continue to be provided throughout the training exercise,” Grohowski noted.

“We want to get the word out that this is a mock incident so that no one mistakes it for an actual emergency,” said Ken Marquez, Adams State vice president for Student Affairs. “It may be terrible to imagine, but we know all too well an event like this can happen anywhere. By practicing, we can reduce any casualties that might result if something like this were to actually occur.”

During the drill, a group of Adams State students and resident assistants will portray victims of a mass casualty shooting in one of the campus residence halls. They will be prepped by SLV Health staff with scripted injuries and how to respond to first responders. 

Police, fire, and emergency vehicles will use emergency lights and sirens as they travel down Monterey Ave. and First St. The roads will remain open to local traffic, however.

NO ACTUAL WEAPONS WILL BE USED, but simulated gunshots may be heard. Blue simmunition guns, which fire paint rounds, will be used during the drill, according to Grohowski.

One purpose of the exercise is to allow SLV Health to test its triage response to a mass casualty incident from a medical perspective.   “While our daily operations in the Emergency Department require us to be prepared for whatever comes through the door, this scenario will stress our resources and that’s what we want to test,” according to Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Alonzo Lobato, RN-BSN.  Although the hospital will remain accessible for patient needs, SLV Health’s security team, with assistance by Colorado State Patrol, will test emergency lockdown procedures to secure the hospital facility as part of this drill.  

“The primary mission for law enforcement is to neutralize the threat to students, to contain the incident/crime scene, and to assist medical evacuation of the victims,” Growhowski said.

Following resolution of the mock incident, all involved will take part in a debriefing session. Campus counselors will be available to participants, as well.

Grohowski said, “This will be an important learning exercise. It is better to make mistakes now and iron out our weaknesses, so we will be better prepared should an actual incident of this type occur.”

Questions or concerns about the mock incident drill may be directed to the Adams State University Police Department: (719) 587-7901.