Charlotte, NC staging Major Terrorist Drill Tomorrowgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
The City of Charlotte announce today that tomorrow (9/2), the city will engage in a major "terrorist drill" to be staged in a "public facility". They will not disclose where or when.
The DOD, FEMA and FBI will be in attendance as observers. (Since Waco, that word has taken on a whole new meaning for me). Let's hope Janet Reno stays home.
A local radio talk show is taking calls from people right now and boy, are they pissed.
Will update tomorrow after the event. Anyone else hearing about similar dirlls in THEIR cities?
-- Roland (email@example.com), September 01, 1999
I forgot to add...some of the most outraged callers to the radio show have been members of the police force and fire department. The very people participating in the dirll.
-- Roland (nottelling@nowhere .com), September 01, 1999.
What is their outrage about?
-- Johnny (JLJTM@BELLSOUTH.NET), September 01, 1999.
Well, tio summarize (I''m paraphrasing here)...
1) If there is a REAL emergency, the bulk of emergency respose units will be at the drill
2) The potential for public panic for those unware that may be "caught in the cross fire"
3) The potential risk to the public with all of these emergency vehicles racing to the scene
4) The fear that crimminals may take advantage of the situation. (What? This is a stick-up??? OHHH...here, take the cash, hehehehe)
5) A general feeling of "what in the hell do you mean you aren't going to tell us anything prior to this event?"
Charlotte was subjected to a similar drill by the Army several years ago. The public outcry was deafening. I guess they're still a little sensative about these surprise training drills. Go figure...
-- Roland (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 01, 1999.
Learn all about it at www.infowars.com and order documentation video, "Police State 2000" by Alex Jones.
-- Betty Alice (Barn266@aol.com), September 02, 1999.
So what happened? Did you witness any of it?
-- (email@example.com), September 03, 1999.
Here is an article from our local paper. I'm not in that part of town, but I understand traffic was good and snarled... :-)
Mock attack tests response
Rescuers swarm to arena: `We did OK,' official says
By DAVID PERLMUTT Staff Writer
Seven hockey fans played dead and another 61 mocked injury, most coughing, choking and twitching in seizures from what authorities pretended was nerve gas after a simulated terrorist attack Thursday at Independence Arena.
The arena was full (so the story line went) when an imaginary bomb exploded, sending a swarm of frantic, disoriented fans into the parking lot.
One fan called 911, setting off a chain-reaction response.
Within two minutes, a fire truck arrived, followed by a blur of police, firefighters, hazardous materials experts and paramedics (all parked across the street). As they arrived, victims implored them to quickly rescue fans left inside.
Actually, the fans were cadets at the city's police academy, residents who volunteered and members of Program for Accessible Living with a variety of disabilities.
The event was simulated, yet serious.
``An exercise like this is so important because it allows you to identify your weaknesses in case a real incident were to happen,'' Wayne Broome, Charlotte-Mecklenburg emergency management director, said near the end of Thursday's drill.
``I think we did OK. But we are not where we want to be. We were able to identify several weaknesses.''
There were communications problems that appeared to be duplicated in many areas, Broome said.
Before rescuers were allowed inside, members of the Charlotte Fire Department's hazardous-waste team strapped on oxygen tanks and zipped up their hooded, rubberized, ``totally encapsulated'' suits and lumbered into the arena to determine what was making victims sick.
``Our first firefighters -- with what they saw -- quickly realized that this was not a minor event,'' said fire department spokesman Capt. Rob Brisley.
``We don't send firefighters and police officers rushing into a building when there might be worse conditions inside. We were overwhelmed with victims so we dropped back and put the right people inside to find out what was going on.''
Brisley said officials are checking whether firefighters with only air packs entered the building too soon. He said there is some concern that several victims strayed from Medic ambulances waiting to take them to the hospital.
``If they were contaminated that could affect hundreds of people down the road,'' he said.
Evaluators noted a lack of manpower to quickly carry out 30 to 40 victims on stretchers. Air bottles had to be refilled, delaying the rescue.
As victims left the arena, either on their own or by stretcher, they were sent through a gantlet of water spray between two fire trucks and scrubbed clean of contamination.
``That is the basic way to scrub and clean people so they don't go to hospital dirty,'' Brisley said.
State and federal officials observed the drill. Brisley said in four weeks the city should get an evaluation and grade from the state and FEMA, the FBI and Department of Defense.
As in real events, the injured were kept away from reporters.
One victim, however, said he heard the explosion and was separated from his family.
``My family -- my daughter and wife and son -- is still in there,'' he said, looking stunned as he sat on the hot pavement in the arena parking lot. ``They keep saying they're going in to get them. They'll let me know, let me know. But nothing yet. I am very worried.''
The victim, whom authorities instructed not to give his name, said the imaginary attack had started when he heard a boom, and fans began to panic.
``I had my daughter's hand, I felt her hand fall away, and then I looked back and didn't see my daughter,'' the victim said.
``Next thing I knew I was looking for them. So I went out front to try to get some assistance. And they took me to a fire truck. They rinsed me off. And I haven't been able to go back in to find them.''
The three-alarm response used half the fire department's resources, Brisley said. With the drill under way, volunteer firefighters from five Mecklenburg County stations manned city stations.
That large a response was similar to the one needed after USAir Flight 1016 crashed in a thunderstorm near Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in July 1994.
City authorities became increasingly concerned about terrorist acts after a Rock Hill man carried an explosive device into the Mecklenburg County Courthouse last year. A deputy stopped the man at the metal detector, and the device was disarmed.
``It just showed us,'' Broome said, ``that we are not immune from these acts as a city.''
During an exercise, Charlotte firefighters attempt to keep victims exposed to a chemical release within water streams used for decontamination. The Weapons of Mass Destruction Exercise at Independence Arena included fire, police and MEDIC responders
-- Roland (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 03, 1999.
Thanks... Used to live in Charlotte, and worked VERY close to the arena.
-- (email@example.com), September 03, 1999.