Exercise to Test Local, State and Federal Response Capabilities Starts Tomorrow in Hampton Roads
– Full-scale exercise will take place over three days at three locations and involve more than 400 participants –
HAMPTON ROADS – The 2011 Hampton Roads Full-Scale Exercise (HRFSE) is being held May 17th through 19th to provide the Commonwealth of Virginia the opportunity to strengthen its anti-terrorism capabilities as well as test local, state and federal response efforts in maritime, hostage and mass casualty scenarios. Planning for the HRFSE began 18 months ago, and it will be held at different locations in Hampton Roads each day. The HRFSE will involve more than 400 participants and actors.
"Anti-terrorism and all-hazard response training is an important part of Virginia's overall preparedness strategy," said Governor Bob McDonnell "Testing response procedures at the local, state and federal levels will help ensure Virginians are ready for any and all emergency situations. This is an opportunity to bring first responders, the military, and state and federal agencies together to ensure that Virginia is ready for any type of emergency response scenario."
The three-day exercises will simulate different response scenarios:
- Day 1 will simulate a maritime terrorist threat. Responders will coordinate their actions at the federal, military, and local levels to interdict and respond.
- Day 2 will simulate a building barricaded by a hostile group that has taken hostages.
- Day 3 will simulate a mass casualty event that requires conduct of victim extraction operations, triage, and treatment. Approximately 75 actors will play wounded hostages, while local, state, and military agencies respond.
"An exercise of this magnitude will stretch the boundaries of the Commonwealth's ability to act before and during attacks as well as natural disaster emergencies," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security Terrie Suit. "Our goal is to test ourselves now, so that if an emergency actually does occur, we are ready to respond to the situation."
Funding for the exercise comes from the Department of Defense 2010 Appropriation Act. Congressman J. Randy Forbes along with Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner were instrumental in acquiring the $2.3 million in funding for the HRFSE. The Office of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security was responsible for the facilitation of the expenditures in partnership with overall management from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. The Naval Post Graduate School's Center for Asymmetric Warfare provided overall planning and coordination to deliver the final exercise series.
Exercise participants will include local, state and federal emergency responders, including representatives from:
- Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center
- Chesapeake Department of Fire & Rescue
- Chesapeake Police Department
- Fort Eustis Fire Department
- City of Hampton Department of Fire & Rescue
- Medical Transport, LLC
- Newport News Fire & Rescue Department
- Newport News Police Department
- Norfolk Emergency Operations Center
- Norfolk Department of Fire & Rescue
- Norfolk Police Department
- Old Dominion University Police Department
- Portsmouth Department of Fire & Rescue
- Portsmouth Police Department
- Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
- Suffolk Department of Fire & Rescue
- Suffolk Police Department
- U.S. Coast Guard
- U.S. Maritime Administration
- U.S. Navy
- Virginia Beach Emergency Medical Services
- Virginia Beach Department of Fire & Rescue
- Virginia Beach Office of Emergency Services
- Virginia Beach Police Department
- Virginia Department of Emergency Management
- Virginia Fusion Center
- Virginia National Guard
- Tidewater Emergency Medical Services Council
- Virginia Port Authority/Maritime Incident Response Team
- Virginia State Police
- York County Department of Fire & Rescue
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