Visible Smoke, Fire Possible During Emergency Exercise at Colorado Springs Airport

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Colorado Springs residents may see smoke, fire, and emergency personnel just south of the city’s airport Thursday morning. 

It’s an exercise from the Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management and will simulate an airplane crash and hospital patient in-processing. Emergency Management Coordinator Erin Duran says 140 service members from Fort Carson and Peterson Air Force Base will even act as crash victims, complete with stage makeup.

"It’s one thing to have responders arrive at a scene with 140 people in civilian clothing, and a very different visual response when they arrive and see the actors with the makeup on and all the injuries. And it helps the first responders to actually truly assess what the injuries are in order to provide the correct treatment."

Colorado Springs medical personnel will transport actors by bus and ambulance to local hospitals for processing until 4:00 p.m.

There will be area road closures, but Duran says residents and businesses will not be affected.

The mass casualty exercise complies with the Federal Aviation Administration standard that all airports practice full-scale emergency response every three years.