Chaos. Confusion. Sirens. This is the scenario Utah Transit Authority trained to prevent during the the two-day anti-terrorism drill May 3 and 4.
Emergency exercise designed to prepare emergency responders in the event of a terrorism attack. The event took place at the Woods Cross FrontRunner station. The drills simulates a bombing bombing on a FrontRunner train. The drill allowed firefighters, police officers and other emergency personnel to work together and hone their emergency preparedness skills.
Federal laws require UTA to hold similar annual trainings in case of a terrorist attack on transportation systems.
“While transportation systems are not a huge target for terrorist attacks, we need to be prepared for the worst,” UTA spokesperson Remi Barron said. “Transportation agencies are not at huge risk, mostly in part to the cross-department trainings,” Barron said.
UTA and other transportation agencies trained with the Department of Homeland Security as well as the Transportation Security Administration. “Double Woods Cross” is just one example of such training exercises.
“I can’t give all the details out, but I can say that UTA has a very thorough and active security system in place,” Barron said.
This particular drill was divided into two days. The bomb simulation was held on May 3rd. The May 4th training covered family assistance and involved approximately 100 volunteers from the community. The volunteers acted as victims allowing the service men and women to practice emergency response skills.
“The largest cost of the whole drill is time,” Barron said. “The first day is on a Sunday, and it means a lot that people are willing to sacrifice their day off to help out.”
As for costs to taxpayers, most of the departments budgeted such trainings out in advance.
“The drill is necessary, and being such, we run it annually up and down the lines. Last year we did a similar simulation in Murray. The idea is to educate and inform the local areas the FrontRunner runs,” Barron said.