TOMBSTONE — The Cochise County Office of Emergency Services is holding a full-scale training exercise today in Tombstone, at the old high school on Fremont Street.

The drill’s purpose is to test and evaluate the response of regional emergency services and partnering agencies during a major incident.

The scenario is a hazmat explosion in a residential neighborhood and will involve role players, movement of patients and victims and response of emergency personnel. Objectives are to test and evaluate the capabilities of emergency responders, coordination between agencies, communication between agencies and with the public, response to a major emergency, and the ability to apply national emergency response standards, according to a press release from the Cochise County Office of Emergency Services.

“The exercise will involve agencies from across the county, as well as our state and federal partners,” said Gabe Lavine, director of Cochise County Emergency Services. “It is important we test our capabilities and skills to ensure emergency readiness in the event of a major incident in Cochise County.”

Residents and businesses in the immediate vicinity of the former high school have been informed of the exercise. Roads adjacent to the incident location will be closed and members of the public are advised to avoid the area between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Tombstone Marshal Bob Randall said he looks forward to the exercise and is pleased Tombstone has been asked to host the event.

“When we were first approached about hosting this exercise several months ago, I was on board with the idea,” Randall said. “It gives the marshal’s office as well as our volunteer fire department an opportunity to evaluate our resources in a ‘real-world situation’ and see how well everyone comes together as we work with other agencies. We’re excited about the opportunity to work with other agencies and see this as a great training experience for all participants.”

Fremont Street, or Highway 80, will be closed between Fifth and Ninth streets from 9 a.m. until around 1 p.m. when traffic will be diverted. Pedestrian traffic to local businesses will not be impacted.

The office of emergency services extends its gratitude to all agency staff and volunteers, role players will be acting as neighborhood residents and patients as they work to create a realistic scenario. Safety will remain the priority throughout the event.

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