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Report: City Officials Under Trained

Published On: Oct 24 2012 03:31:59 PM CDT

The city of Colorado Springs released its Initial After Action Report detailing strengths and weaknesses during the Waldo Canyon Fire.

According to the report, the city was under-trained when it came to handling the logistics of a large-scale disaster and staff would require more training in years to come.

During a meeting Tuesday morning, Fire Chief Rich Brown said it's hard to train for the unknown. He described the afternoon of June 26 when the fire peaked and caught several agencies off guard. Up until that point, coordination between emergency agencies was strong, said Brown. He agreed with the report that improvements can be made to provide important information immediately to first responders.

Brown also said the city struggled with documenting times, dates and decisions made by officials. He said it is why this report took so long to come out. The report suggested training scribes for the next disaster.

Brown highlighted three strong steps the city took before the disaster, including public safety collaboration, the number of personnel and wildfire-mitigation plans.

Mitigation in the Cedar Heights neighborhood was a win, said Brown. It helped reduce the risk of damaged homes and saved lives.

The Final After Action Report is expected to be complete in March 2013.


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