Emergency Response Partnership Helps to Maximize Resources Offered
In a community-wide response unprecedented in the Roaring Fork Valley, everything from nurses, law enforcement officers, and septic system inspectors to county, city, and town managers, engineers and heavy equipment operators are being offered to the flood-ravaged Front Range effective immediately.
As many as 65 employees of multiple jurisdictions and districts between Aspen and Basalt have been added to a list of resources being collected by the State of Colorado’s Emergency Operations Center in Centennial. There are 23 experts on the list in health-related fields including nurses, environmental health inspectors, and emergency response personnel. The list includes 19 Public Works experts from the Roaring Fork Valley ranging from engineers to heavy equipment operators. Local law enforcement officers are on the list to be deployed if necessary, along with City and Town managers from Aspen, Pitkin County, Town of Snowmass and Basalt.
It is unlikely that local resources would be called upon all at once to help with the flood response and recovery, but officials locally anticipate they’ll be needed in the coming months as Front Range resources begin to dwindle and officials there need to recharge.
“This is the largest disaster Colorado has ever seen and the cooperation out of the Northwest Region, which includes Pitkin County, has been incredible and greatly appreciated by the State” said State Office of Emergency Management Field Manager, Chuck Vale. “We’re in it for the long haul to get Northeast Colorado infrastructure back in place before winter,” Vale said.
Officials admit that personnel and equipment can be made available to the state at some sacrifice to local service levels however; they maintain that their ability to respond to an emergency here will not be impacted.
“This is a remarkable showing of coordinated community leadership, egos checked at the door, with only the best interests of our fellow counties, cities, and towns in mind,” said County Manager, Jon Peacock. “For example, the Town of Basalt has offered to help cover for us if the need arises in Pitkin County while some of our resources are on the Front Range,” Peacock said. “At no time will we be unable to respond to our core community needs.”