For Immediate Release For More Information, Contact:
Friday, May 20, 2011 Press Office, (617) 635-4461
Competition Will Consist of Several Simulated Crisis Events Throughout City and Region, Culminating with a Major Terrorist Attack Scenario
Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino kicked off Urban Shield: Boston, a 24-hour management and competitive training exercise simulating large-scale crisis events and a major terrorist attack impacting Boston and the region. The competition will begin tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM and will include teams from the City of Boston, Metro-Boston Homeland Security Region, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island and Alameda County in California. The competition will assess each team’s ability to successfully respond to and manage multiple terrorist events and other emergencies occurring simultaneously throughout the Boston area.
“The upcoming 10th anniversary of the most tragic terrorist event in our nation’s history reminds us that the threat against us is never fully gone,” Mayor Menino said. “We know it’s important to test our readiness and the abilities of our first responders. Urban Shield: Boston will show the nation the steps the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region is taking to prepare for all-hazards and help ensure all Bay Staters that we are ready if the unthinkable were to happen. Cities are on the frontlines of homeland security.”
Approximately $1 million in grant funding from the Urban Area Security Initiative through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be appropriated for Urban Shield: Boston with the goal of providing a multi-layered training exercise to enhance the skills and abilities of regional first responders when addressing large-scale events. The exercises and overall competition will also test the command structure of the Unified Area Command (UAC) composed of top officials from each first responder agencies throughout the metropolitan region and supported by $2 million worth of new communications equipment immediately placing each agency on the same radio wavelength should there ever be a large scale crisis.
In addition to receiving excellent training and experience, Urban Shield will provide the metro-Boston region with critical information related to current policies, capabilities, equipment, assets, command and communication systems, and emergency operation centers.
As first responder teams arrive from throughout the metro-Boston region, they will be assigned to deal with a series of 12 complicated issues based on past real life events including:
an “active shooter” situation at the Boston Copley Marriott Place;
- a “terrorist seizure” of a control room in Everett;
- a “maritime interdiction with hostages” in Winthrop;
- an “explosive device” situation found at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Brookline;
- three separate “structural collapse and rescue” scenarios at the Quincy shipyard;
- an “explosive device” situation at Old Quincy High School in Quincy;
- an “explosive device” situation aboard an Amtrak train at the Conrail Yard in Boston;
- a hazardous materials exposure with decontamination at the Tobin Grammar School in Cambridge;
- and a large scale “explosive device” situation in a public venue at the Produce Market in Everett.
Technical Rescue Teams of the Boston Fire Department will be joined by firefighters from Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Quincy, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop in search and rescue operations during many of the scenarios. They will be cutting through concrete walls and stabilizing weakened structures in the search for trapped people.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will also be integrated into each scenario, testing the abilities of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) to triage victims throughout each ordeal.
During the competition, each scenario will run multiple times throughout the 24-hour period and residents in the area may hear simulated gunfire and explosions, or observe officers responding to designed situational emergencies within each exercise.
Teams of between five to 12 members will participate in the scenarios, including Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) units from:
the Boston Police Department;
- the Cambridge Police Department;
- the Everett-Revere combined unit;
- the Somerville Police Department in partnership with the Northeastern Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC);
- the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Association (MBTA) Police Department;
- the Massachusetts State Police;
- the Almeda County Sherriff’s Department (California);
- the Middlesex County police department;
- the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council;
- and the Providence Police Department.
Urban Shield: Boston will culminate with a large consolidated event modeled after the terror attacks in Mumbai at Dolphin Way in the Marine Industrial District. The consolidated event will allow government, law enforcement, fire, EMS and emergency management personnel, along with federal agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the National Guard, and the Coast Guard to meet and communicate regarding steps to counter potential terrorist efforts.
During this major exercise, hundreds of regional first responders including SWAT teams, bomb squad and K9 units, fire fighters, EMS, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams and others will converge on a large facility, which has been taken over by a group of heavily armed terrorists.