Pitkin County officials to discuss terrorist attack plan as part of emergency planning

Staff report

The No. 1 man-made threat in the Aspen area is a mass-casualty terrorist attack on a special event, a Pitkin County official said Wednesday.

To that end, officials will gather today at Bumps at Buttermilk to discuss their response to such an attack on a summertime, outdoor special event in the Aspen area, said Valerie MacDonald, Pitkin County’s emergency management director.

“There’s no reason to think we are immune to what happens elsewhere in the world,” MacDonald said.

Today’s conference is an outgrowth of Pitkin County’s Emergency Operations Plan, which county commissioners preliminarily approved Wednesday. The plan covers the response by emergency services providers to various situations in the Upper Roaring Fork Valley, including wildfire, flooding and, yes, a terrorist attack.

Colorado law stipulates that counties must establish and maintain such a plan, MacDonald said. Commissioners must approve the plan every two years.

The new version of the plan adopted Wednesday doesn’t differ significantly from the previous version, MacDonald said. The plan includes 15 teams with a total of about 200 people and spells out the roles and responsibilities of each team, she said.

Today’s event at Bumps is not open to the public.