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Denver mayor unhappy with disaster drill

Nov. 19, 2005 at 6:16 PM

DENVER, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- The mayor of Denver, dissatisfied with a recent fake disaster exercise, has ordered a new plan be developed and is looking for a full-time emergency manager.

Some 120 Denver-area agencies staged a tabletop exercise Oct. 19 to practice responding if a radioactive bomb went off.

"The experts ruled the exercise was a success," Mayor John Hickenlooper told the Rocky Mountain News. "I hold us to a much higher standard, evidently."

Among other problems, the drill revealed faulty radio communications and too few radiation sensors.

"I believed our readiness was sufficient. The exercise pointed out we needed more practice, more training," Hickenlooper said.

He said emergency drills must be nearly flawless if Denver is to survive devastation anything close to that suffered by New Orleans.

The mayor said Denver needs a full-time emergency manager to take over duties that have been handled part-time since 2003 by Deputy Safety Manager Tracy Howard.

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