Waldo Canyon Fire (June 2012) – Thousands were evacuated including at least one large nursing home. In its aftermath, environmental health and behavioral health were heavily engaged. Based on feedback during the health & medical debrief, the coalition drafted an evacuation assistance plan. Closing the main highway from Colorado Springs going west resulted in lack of readily available medical resupply (oxygen, pharmaceuticals) to rural areas within the coalition’s region.
Black Forest Fire (June 2013) – Just one year later this community endured a similar experience with thousands evacuated and hundreds of homes destroyed. The coalition dedicated significant effort to contacting healthcare facilities, and especially focusing on home health agencies whose clients resided in the impacted area. Here again, environmental and behavioral health partners were heavily engaged. The coalition refined its regional evacuation assistance plan and improved its information sharing using a medical situation report.
Major Flooding (July 2015) – Due in part to unusually heavy rainfall coupled with deforestation from the 2012 fire, this major disaster was accompanied with landslides and mudslides. Evacuations were ordered and some low-lying buildings were inundated with mud. Thankfully, there were very few casualties in both fires and the flooding.
Clinic active shooter incident (November 2015) – This shooting incident lasted five hours and resulted in numerous casualties. The coalition helped coordinate the behavioral health engagement with all affected by this incident. A local hospital partner treated the casualties.
Coronavirus (2020 – 2022) – The SCHCC was involved with the COVID-19 Pandemic response from the beginning, partnering with state and local Public Health, Emergency Management, and Hospital staff in order to share information and create situational awareness during the rapidly evolving event. Throughout the event the SCHCC has continued to support the response through positions and responsibilities, including: providing resource management for supply requests; as a liaison between local, regional and state agencies; as Co-Lead for coordination calls with hospital Emergency Management and Long-Term Care/Skilled Nursing Facilities; as advocate for local and regional needs to state partners; and through monitoring and culmination of metrics at the local, regional, state and interstate levels to provide situational awareness.
Marshall Fire (December 2021) – Responding to a request from an Assisted Living Facility that was being evacuated due to the fire in Boulder County, the SCHCC responded to assist with providing resources to a sister facility located in Colorado Springs that would be housing the evacuees. Working with the El Paso County Public Health Department and Pikes Peak Office of Emergency Management, the SCHCC was able to provide ADA Bariatric cots, linens, pillows and access and functional needs supplies to allow the local facility to house 30 residents from the evacuated facility.