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Local officials practice emergency response at Jackson Lake

Emergency responders gathered on Jan. 18 for a tabletop exercise in which they talked about emergency preparedness at the Jackson Reservoir dam.

Emergency response personnel from across the area gathered Jan. 18 for a preparedness exercise for the dam at Jackson Gulch Reservoir.

Local representatives were present from the Mancos Water Conservancy District, the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, the Mancos Marshal’s office and other state and federal departments.

The Bureau of Reclamation put together a hypothetical emergency scenario at the dam. Those who attended worked through the scenario, practicing how they would communicate and respond to prepare for a real emergency.

“We get a chance to shake hands and meet face-to-face,” Bureau of Reclamation representative Dave Eiselman said at the event. “That’s a benefit of this meeting.”

Montezuma County Emergency Manager Paul Hollar said a similar meeting took place in November involving the McPhee Reservoir dam. The purpose for the meetings is to keep everyone updated on how emergency responders would handle the situation and how they would communicate to get information out in an emergency, he said.