Metro to host series of emergency response exercises

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Photo by PoPville Flickr user cacophony76

Thanks to all the readers who sent the Post story about tomorrow’s exercise:

“Metro Transit Police will hold a “major anti-terrorism show of force” Tuesday during rush hour at one of the agency’s “busiest Metrorail station,” according to a media advisory released by the agency. Metro will conduct the exercise from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.”

And in a Metro Press release they mention three more exercises to occur Feb. 12, 13 and 24. Full press release on those after the jump.


“A series of three emergency response exercises involving simulations of explosions and simulated gunfire in the Metro system will take place this month, and will enable Metro and its regional partners to test and practice the multi-jurisdictional coordination and response needed to mitigate such incidents.

The exercises, scheduled for Feb. 12, 13 and 24, will bring together participants from local law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services departments, federal agencies and multiple departments within Metro. The tactical drills and subsequent tabletop exercise will help reinforce the region’s strategy for responding to a Metro-related incident.

“Metro provides an essential service in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, and ensuring the safety and security of our riders and employees while keeping our trains and buses running smoothly is at the heart of our mission,” said Metro Transit Police Acting Chief Jeff Delinski.

“It’s an unfortunate reality that we face the unknown risks, either natural or manmade. Metro and area emergency responders need to be prepared to respond to any form of terrorist attack or other crisis that would impact Metro’s ability to provide essential transportation services in the National Capital Region. It’s critical to have the support and coordination of local and federal agencies that would simultaneously respond to a large-scale crisis occurring on Metro,” Delinski said.

Metro and its regional partners designed three tactical exercises to test and practice each agency’s respective roles and responsibilities. The first drill takes place on Friday, Feb. 12, in the parking lot at RFK Stadium. The scenario simulates an explosion on a Metrobus and an explosive found on a second Metrobus. The second exercise on Saturday, Feb. 13, entails an explosion on a Metrorail train in the tunnel between the Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom-GWU Metrorail stations. The final tactical drill takes place Wednesday, Feb. 24, where active shooters are reported at the Friendship Heights Metrorail station.

External agencies participating in exercises include police, fire and emergency medical services departments from Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, Washington, D.C., Fairfax County, Prince Georges’ County, Montgomery County, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Capital Area American Red Cross. Metro’s Office of Emergency Management has been coordinating with participants from the transit agency, including the Transit Police, Safety, Metrobus and Metrorail departments.

“We’ve brought together a great team of partners from throughout Metro and the region on this important initiative,” said Metro Director of Emergency Management Peter LaPorte. “It’s important for us to practice and test what we would do in an emergency situation, build on best practices and what works, and find solutions to things we can do better.”

The tactical exercises will be followed by two tabletop drills with emergency managers and senior leadership executives.

The emergency response exercises are funded through a $1.2 million U.S. Department of Homeland Security Urban Area Security Initiative grant. The grant was obtained by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Fire Chiefs and is managed by the Arlington County Fire Department.”

5 Comment

  • I realize that this is DC and that such exercises are important, but seriously Metro is about one death away from being declared a terrorist organization itself. Not for nothing, but as of late I am far more afraid of lunatic bus drivers, incompetent metro operators and antiquated equipment when using the system than I am of an Al-Qaeda sleeper cell. Hey, that’s an idea, maybe the recent problems are just a rouse, a cover for something far more sinister? Any takers?

  • I walked up to the first platform in Union today to see 10 cops and 2 swat team members with M-16s. I just wondered what I missed.

  • dere metro…pleez beeware of teenagers at CH metro. they wil steel ur walkytalkys

  • I’ve been seriously contemplating starting my own blog called Metro Incompetence of the Day and have the metro area write in and give us a forum to expose the ridiculousness we face every day. Maybe we could even get the metro board to respond periodically.

  • If one reads the comments from the Post’s story on this drill today, there are numerous people suggesting this is a waste of money, the beginnings of a police state and the like. The irony is that in the case of another London or Madrid-style bombing that happened here, these tools would be the first people screaming why were there no police there beforehand? The truth is it is next to impossible to stop a committed lone-wolf terrorist and most of the truly effective anti-terrorism tactics happen behind the scenes out of view of the public. Of course this is security theatre, but police and intelligence agencies need to do this from time to time to show the public they are out there doing their job. At least it was somewhat reassuring that some people told the security force “I’m glad you’re here.”

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