[cifnmedia] Mock Terror Drill Brings More Than 1,000 First Responders

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 02:12:29 -0800 (PST)

Updated: 03-15-2004 01:34:57 PM

Mock Terror Drill Brings More Than 1,000 First Responders to Shea Stadium

Courtesy of ABC7

• Click here for Video 

Operation United Response is the largest simulation of a terrorist attack at a 
large sports event. That drill -- in Queens -- brought out the city's first 
responders to test their skills. 

This drill is timely. Just days after the bombings in Madrid. It's a 
coincidence. This simulation's been planned for months. But, as the mayor put 
it on Sunday, that just proves how important this is. Terrorists can attack 
anywhere, including a Mets game. 

The call goes out: an explosion inside Shea Stadium. It's a weapon of mass 
destruction. The task: save lives, fast. One thousand emergency workers 
involved. Between the scene and 50 participating hospitals, 1000 others are 
acting as victims. 

Rescue crews knew this was a drill, but they didn't know anything else. What 
kind of bomb? How victims would react? And then another test. NYPD officers 
weren't told there were actually two other devices hidden in the parking lot. 
Using radiation detectors and mirrors, cops quickly found them both. 

Capt. Nick Corrado, FDNY: "Not all units have the detection equipment, but we 
do and that's why we are on the scene. That's our first priority." 

In a real emergency, you won't just have emergency workers standing by waiting 
for something to happen. And so to make this exercise more realistic everything 
was timed. For example, an ambulance from Staten Island would take a half-hour 
to get to the scene so it wasn't allowed to participate until a half-hour into 
the mock drill. 

Chief Jim Tuller, NYPD: "When I go to the scene initially, I thought I was in 
the real thing." 

The city has staged dozens of mock drills since 9/11, but this is the largest 
mobilization of all. 

Joseph Bruno, NYC Office of Emergency Mgmt.: "Shea Stadium used their [sic] 
division immediately when we began the exercise to advise people inside the 
stadium that an incident had occurred and that they should all begin leaving." 

Emergency workers said communication seems to be one of the biggest problems. 
It's so chaotic -- you have 10 people talking at once. It's a critical point, 
they promise to work on during the next mock drill. 

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Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network

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