Responders stage ground zero drill

May 17, 2009 3:56:05 PM PDT
More than 800 first responders staged a disaster drill at the World Trade Center PATH station Sunday.The mock explosion happened in the PATH tunnel linking lower Manhattan to New Jersey. Hundreds of firefighters, police officers and members of other New York City agencies took part in the drill.

They secured the scene and then brought the pretend victims out of the tunnel.

The 150 volunteers playing victims wore makeup simulating blood and grime.

Officials bought TV ads and plastered train stations with posters to warn downtown residents of the drill. There haven't been as many responders at ground zero since the Sept. 11 attacks.

PATH rail service was suspended Sunday morning during the drill.

"I am always impressed by the professionalism of our public safety personnel respond to challenging emergencies," Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler said. "Today's exercise was particularly important because it demonstrated the commitment our emergency personnel are making to training and to cooperation among both City agencies and other parts of government."

"Full-scale exercises like today's give us an opportunity to practice how to integrate the vast response resources available in New York City and establish a command structure under the Citywide Incident Management System (CIMS)," NYC OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno said. "I want to thank the Port Authority and all of the city's first response agencies for sharing their expertise and helping in the development and execution of this drill."

"These drills give our police the opportunity to work side by side with our partner agencies so that we can jointly respond to any incident that may arise in the future," Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said.

"Our top priority is the safety and security of our customers, which is why we've invested billions in security at our facilities," Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia said. "Today's drill will help PAPD and our partner agencies respond quickly and effectively in the case of a real emergency."


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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