PUEBLO, Colo. — Pueblo County emergency response agencies will be participating in an annual exercise to test response to a simulated chemical incident on May 4.

The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) annual exercise is a federally evaluated test of response capabilities with nearly 2,000 participants expected from the American Red Cross, Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, First Student, local hospitals, Health Solutions, Pueblo School District 70, the Pueblo Chemical Depot, and more than a dozen first-response agency personnel from Pueblo County.

The scenario will involve a simulated chemical incident at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot and another non-related emergency within Pueblo County, requiring the activation of various Emergency Operations Centers, the Pueblo Community Joint Information Center and decontamination and treatment facilities.

Several public warning capabilities will be tested: 22 outdoor warning sirens located in the emergency zones surrounding the Pueblo Chemical Depot will be tested as part of the exercise, as well as a test message during the exercise for nearly 800 weather alert radios, which provide warning for people who are indoors.

The public may also see exercise-related activity at several locations in Pueblo County. The responders may be dressed in full protective equipment and mock accident victims will receive realistic looking injury makeup. Emergency equipment and vehicles will be deployed to various sites including Rusler Produce, Colorado Highway 96 East, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Blende, and the local hospitals.

The exercise is scheduled to start at approximately 9 a.m. and conclude in the early afternoon.