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The emergency drill is set for Sept. 2

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FARMINGTON — Multiple municipal and county agencies will be involved in a full-scale emergency drill this week simulating a mass casualty incident at a Farmington church.

The San Juan County Office of Emergency Management is hosting the drill from 7 a.m. to noon on Sept. 25 in the area of the intersection of Piñon Hills Boulevard and North Dustin Avenue in Farmington, according to county Emergency Manager Mike Mestas.

The annual drill is hosted by the county as a requirement for funding from the Department of Homeland Security and to provide training for first responders on a large-scale emergency, Mestas said.

The activity will be focused on Piñon Hills Community Church at 5101 N. Dustin Ave. Upwards of 175 people will be involved in the drill.

Some of the agencies participating include the Farmington fire and police departments, San Juan County SWAT, San Juan Regional Medical Center, San Juan County Fire and the Aztec Police Department.

Citizens driving by the church will see a large number of first responders at the scene with multiple vehicles staged around the church property.

Participants will be observed going in and out of the church as they are transported from the scene to the hospital.

Law enforcement will be stationed along the perimeter of the scene.

Signs will be set up along the roadway to inform those driving by the scene of the drill.

It takes about six to seven months of planning to prepare for the annual drill, Mestas said.

The annual drill in the past has included a mock active shooter scenario at the Navajo Preparatory School and an emergency response to a bomb threat at a ConocoPhillips San Juan Gas Plant in Bloomfield, according to The Daily Times archives.

During the planning stage, work was done to ensure very little to no interruption at the daycare, school and nursing home in the area.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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