(PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo.) — Don’t be alarmed, “THIS IS ONLY A DRILL,” wrote the Pueblo Fire Department (PFD) on Facebook, as next week the Pueblo County Fire Chiefs will be holding a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) exercise on Thursday, Aug. 17, to test the Pueblo County MCI plan created in 2019 and updated in 2022.

According to PFD, the exercise is slated to begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday and will conclude in the early afternoon. The exercise will be evaluated by a countywide group and staff from the State of Colorado, according to the fire department, and nearly 75 people from more than a dozen first-response agencies across Pueblo County, are expected to take part.

“This Mass Casualty Incident exercise is an opportunity for us to hone our skills as cooperating emergency respondents and community partners,” said Pueblo Fire Chief Barb Huber. “Testing our plan and our emergency operations are important pieces of ensuring we are all prepared when a real-world response is needed.”

The public is advised that they may see exercise-related activity in the downtown area near the Midtown Shopping Center. Emergency equipment and vehicles, along with helicopters, may be present.

The exercise will include a “simulated railway accident which includes a bus accident requiring the activation of the Emergency Operation Center, Pueblo County fire agencies, and local hospitals,” wrote the PFD. “The responders may be dressed in full protective equipment while mock accident victims will receive realistic looking makeup.”

For more information on the exercise, contact PFD Deputy Chief Chris Harner at (719) 553-2823 or Beulah Fire Chief Bryan Ware at (719) 485-2367.