Exercise Benefits / Facts
The Colorado Hospital Association undertook an effort to develop, conduct and evaluate a series of disaster exercises entitled “CHECS – An Inter-Hospital Communications Exercise”.
Each regional exercise served as an opportunity for Colorado’s hospitals to assess their ability to maintain inter-hospital communications via a concept of operations entitled the “Colorado Hospital Emergency Coordination System” (CHECS) during emergencies or disasters.
North Central Region
The North Central Region has been targeted in a well-coordinated terrorist attack on its railroad system. Three incendiary devices have been detonated in three locations across the region:
- One at the Littleton Light Rail Station.
- One at the 10th and Osage Light Rail Station.
- One on the Union Pacific Railroad just south of Longmont resulting in the derailment of a tanker car carrying an unknown chemical.
It is late April and the severe weather associated with a line of thunderstorms moving through the area prompts the local forecast office of the National Weather Service to issue a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the western counties of the Northeast All-Hazard Region at 1:10PM MT.
A tanker truck carrying hazardous chemicals was traveling westbound on Interstate 70 near the Grand Junction Airport. As it approached Exit 31, where it was to have exited the interstate to make a delivery, the truck went into an uncontrolled skid when it hit a patch of ice on the road. As the truck left the pavement it rolled over onto its side.
A large vapor cloud appeared almost immediately and began drifting eastward.
San Luis Valley Region / Southwest Region
It is 4:00PM MT on a cool March afternoon. Road maintenance crews working along US Highway 160 accidentally knocked down a power line which causes a transformer in a nearby sub-station to short out and catch on fire shutting down the entire sub-station.
It is late April and severe weather associated with a line of thunderstorms moving through the area prompts the local forecast office of the National Weather Service to issue a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the counties of the South All-Hazard Region at 1:10PM MT.
It is late April and the severe weather associated with a line of thunderstorms moving through the area prompts the local forecast office of the National Weather Service to issue a Tornado Watch for the region at 1:10PM MT.
At 2:11PM, meteorologists at the National Weather Service notice what appears to be the formation of a tornado on their Doppler weather radar. They immediately issue a Tornado Warning for Baca County.
A tour bus carrying a high school ski club was traveling northbound on Route 145 near the Telluride Regional Airport. Icy conditions and light snow created slick roads and numerous accidents. The tour bus hit a patch of ice, lost control and skidded onto its side. Emergency responders on the scene say there were 46 students, three adult chaperons and the driver on board.
The CHECS Inter-Hospital Communications Exercises were facilitated at locations throughout the State of Colorado during the month of March 2011.
This exercise is an example of the kind of exercises that comprise the nationwide Caduceus Shield Exercise Initiative. This initiative provides meaningful exercise opportunities for America’s health system.