For the past year, Captain Mike Bloski worked on developing a multi-agency exercise to test Manatee County’s response to a multi-casualty terrorism event. The planning of this exercise took months that involved Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control, Regional Emergency Response, Florida Division of Emergency Management, th3 48th Civil Support Teams, Manatee County Emergency Management, Manatee County Transit, Manatee County Fire Districts, Manatee County EMS, City of Bradenton Fire and Police Department, Manatee County Sheriff’s Department and Southern Manatee Fire Rescue Special Operations Team and Sarasota County Fire Department Special Operations Team and many more agencies.
This exercise allowed all participating agencies to be involved in this scenario by allowing their personnel to do their job functions as if this incident was real. This scenario involved a bomb going off injuring over 50 citizens that were watching a game at LECOM Park, during this exercise a secondary device went off that caused a release of a dangerous hazardous material.
The exercise was held at LECOM Park on November 1, 2017 and started at 0900 hours and was completed by 1300 hours. Over 250 Firefighter/EMT’s/Paramedic’s, Law Enforcement Officers, Manatee County Public Safety personnel and Command Staff from the various agencies that participated. Agencies were able to participate in real time on their part of this exercise as this scenario unfolded. Examples of this, SWAT had to secure the scene before Fire and EMS personnel could move in to where the patients were located, Fire and EMS personnel performed START Triage, initial care, removal to decon area, secondary triage and treatment and then actual transport to Blake Hospital, Blake set up to receive and begin treatment, Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad utilizing the robots to find and disable the bomb, Haz-mat Technicians involved in decon, level A entry, collection of materials to analysis and stabilization.
In a real life incident all agencies will be pulled together under a unified command to handle incidents such as this and this exercise gave everyone an opportunity to evaluate their operation because the day will come in which an incident like this will happen and we all need to be prepared.