Community College of Aurora hosts real-life emergency simulation for National Guard

Community College of Aurora, Colorado, hosted more than 200 National Guard Soldiers for a June 8 training that simulated what response teams could expect during a real national emergency.

The team of Army and Air Force soldiers belong to one of the 17 elite teams trained in CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package teams in the nation. The training sought to prepare the team for an emergency similar to the recent Boston Marathon bombing.

The training at the college simulated a real-life emergency where multiple explosive devices went off in a hotel and parking lot, leaving 189 people unaccounted for. There were a number of elements that made the training identical to what could be expected in a real situation, such as a car buried in rubble that could potentially have victims inside the car or nearby.

Building 900 of the CCA campus was used as the "hotel." It was equipped with rubble from the "explosion'" and live actors who were dressed in detailed makeup to depict the gruesome injuries common with this type of emergency. Both standard and special, high-tech simulation mannequins were also scattered down the hall to represent casualties or people with specific medical conditions.

"What's great about the location at Community College of Aurora is that we have a building that we can tear up to replicate an actual disaster-type event occurring at that location and also the area outside of it for establishing our area of operations and a rubble pile," Commander of the Colorado National Guard CBRNE LTC Seamus Doyle said.

Doyle and incident commander for the exercise SFC Joe Ziser both anticipate a return to the CCA campus to take advantage of its various training resources. Many other organizations also train at CCA, including Homeland Security's Exercise and Evaluation Program, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and SWAT.