Craig briefs: Wildfire safety training is today

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Ten local agencies are partnering today to participate in a sand table exercise to test coordination, communication and decision-making between the agencies and cooperators who are first responders during a wildfire.

The interagency training model will help to ensure efficient and safe response for firefighters and optimize outcomes for the public in wildland fire situations.

Participating organizations include: Craig Fire/Rescue, Moffat County Sheriff's Office, Craig Regional Communication Center, Bureau of Land Management/Interagency Dispatch, Colorado State Forest Service, Trapper Mining, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Moffat County Commission, The Memorial Hospital EMS, Moffat County Office of Emergency Management and Moffat County Road and Bridge.

"Moffat County has always been fortunate to have exceptional working relationships between agencies," said Lynn Barclay, BLM fire mitigation/education specialist. "This is another example of the proactive work that we can accomplish to ensure that we are prepared for worst case scenarios."

The exercise this year will focus on Knez Divide and the surrounding area, which is a prime location for wildfire threatening structures in remote areas of the county.

"Craig Fire/Rescue has invested a lot of time and resources in preparation for the increasing threat of wildland/urban interface fires," Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Bill Johnston said. "This is an opportunity to test our response in as realistic a setting as possible and to anticipate and address challenges we might encounter in a live scenario."

Using sand tables for emergency response exercises employs a three-dimensional terrain model with various props to represent assets or liabilities.

It engages participants by engineering a learning environment that more closely resembles the areas they may find themselves working in.

It also is an opportunity for the responders to practice face-to-face before an incident and make adjustments to the existing operating plans if they determine that is necessary.

The exercise is expected to take four hours, including an After Action Review. The AAR is the final step in the process, when the participants identify what worked well, what needs improvement and the actions that will strengthen response efforts.

The first similar sand table emergency response exercise took place in 2004 and focused on wildfire response in Wilderness Ranch.

VNA hosting volunteer training May 2, May 9

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will host hospice volunteer training from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 2 and May 9. The location is yet to be determined. For an application or more information, call Katy Thiel at 871-7628.

Wildlife fundraiser at Holiday Inn on Saturday

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is hosting a fundraiser this weekend, with the proceeds benefiting elk and other wildlife. The fundraiser is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday at the Holiday Inn of Craig.

There will be dinner, prizes and auctions, organizers said.

For ticket information, call Rob and Suz Syverston at 824-3633.

Local guitar students to perform Saturday

Remember the songs from the summer of love? If not, visit the Center of Craig on Saturday night.

At 6:30 p.m., local guitar students will perform songs from the 1967 to 1969 time period. Admission is free.

An opening reception is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Event sponsors are First String Music in Steamboat Springs, Party Smart Steamboat and Kloos & Associates, of Craig.

9Health Fair is Thursday and April 25 in Craig

The 9Health Fair is hosting two health care events next week in Craig. On Thursday, the 9Health Fair senior blood draw takes place at Sunset Meadows II, 595 Ledford St., for people 65 and older. The blood draw is from 7 to 11 a.m.

On April 25, the 9Health Fair moves to Sunset Elementary School, at Seventh and Green streets. It runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free screenings will be offered for breast cancer, finger stick glucose, blood pressure, oral cancer and lung function. The screenings that are offered on the 23rd also will be offered on the 25th at the same costs.

Both events, which are sponsored by the Craig Lions Club, are open to people 18 and older. For more information about either of the 9Health Fair events, call Kristi Shepherd at 824-5814.

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