U.S. EPA, State and Local Agencies to hold Emergency Response Training Exercise at MBTA Emergency Training Center in September
(Boston, Mass. – September 09, 2013) – From September 10 to 12, U.S. EPA will be joined by Massachusetts and Boston emergency response officials to hold a full-scale training exercise at the newly constructed MBTA Emergency Training Center on Foundry Street in South Boston. The training exercise will implement plans to accomplish an integrated, multi-agency response to the release of hazardous material.
This full-scale training exercise is a drill, and helps maintain a high operational readiness for the EPA emergency responders and other federal, state and local partners.
The training exercise will commence with the artificial release of hazardous material within the training environment and will focus on the characterization and decontamination of affected areas. To simulate actual conditions, responders will practice wearing level “A” personal protective equipment throughout the training exercise. Level “A” personal protective equipment is characterized by fully encapsulating suits, breathing apparatus, as well as highly specialized boots and gloves.
EPA will be coordinating closely with federal, state and local partners, including the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), MBTA Transit Police, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), Boston Police, Boston Fire/HAZMAT and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). All partners are actively engaged and will be training jointly throughout the exercise.
“It is important for EPA officials and first-responders to practice working under emergency conditions, because in those situations coordination amongst federal, state and local partners is vital, and must be precise,” said EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding. “It is also important that our workers are current on all of their training, which requires extra practice.”
“An emergency situation requires well-trained first-responders and seamless coordination and communication between local, state and federal officials to ensure protection of our environment and the public health,” said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. “This planned exercise will prepare MassDEP and our partners for an emergency that we hope we’ll never have to confront.”
“These types of exercises are vitally important as we continue to ensure the safety and security of the riding public.” Chief MacMillan of the MBTA Transit Police stated. “This training facility was designed for this purpose so service would not have to be disrupted and our customers inconvenienced.” He added.
The training will be occurring inside the newly constructed MBTA Emergency Training Center, but authorized exercise participants will be parking some of their support vehicles, trailers and other necessary equipment on Foundry Street throughout the duration of the exercise. During the exercise, emergency response personnel at the MBTA Emergency Training Center are training and are not responding to an actual emergency.