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Communication key to emergency training for Rockies

DENVER -- What would you do if an explosion were to occur in the middle of a baseball game? The Rockies now know the answer to that question thanks to the full-scale emergency exercise that took place at Coors Field on Thursday.

Denver police, firefighters and other emergency medical services were all on deck for a training session that involved between 400 to 500 volunteers.

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For the reproduction, a giant smoke machine was brought in to simulate an explosion in the equipment room. But team officials had no idea what the incident would be or where it would be taking place until it occurred.

In other words, it was "as close to reality as we could make it," according to Rockies vice president of communications Jay Alves.

"I can't tell you how helpful it is to be able to do it live and not do it on a table top," Alves said. "It makes it much more real and much more effective for us."

The exercise allowed Rockies officials to practice identifying and taking control of an emergency situation from their command center located in center field. During the event, the organization ran through the proper evacuation process and even simulated some injuries.

Once emergency officials arrived, the first responders handed over full control of the situation to the authorities.

"One of the biggest things we really worked on today was communication between us and the emergency services personnel," Alves said. "It was important for them, as well as us. Just for them to see the ballpark, learn the ballpark, learn the gate numbers. ... When we say Gate B, they now know where that is."

Overall, the event took a little over an hour. All volunteers were offered tickets to an upcoming Rockies game for offering their time.

Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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