VIDEO: Massive police response throughout Boston this weekend will be Urban Shield drill
The city is warning residents that the simulated gunfire and massive police response going on this weekend will only be a drill.
You may see a hundreds of emergency responders and hear simulated gunfire throughout the city this weekend, but don't be alarmed.
Various public safety agencies are participating in a 24-hour training exercise called Urban Shield: Boston.
It will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and will conclude 8 a.m. Sunday.
The city is warning residents ahead of time to minimize alarm or panic.
"Each scenario will be run multiple times, and organizers urge residents not to be alarmed. There is no danger to anyone in the area, and exercises will be done in cordoned-off areas away from the public," the city said in an advisory.
Agencies including the Boston police and fire departments, Boston EMS, the MBTA, Metro-Boston Homeland Security Region, and various other emergency response departments will participate in the drill.
The exercise is meant assess each team’s ability to successfully respond to, and manage, public safety events and other emergencies occurring simultaneously throughout the Boston area, the advisory said.
Locations of the drills include: the USS Salem in Quincy for "maritime interdiction"; the former B-2 district police station for simulated SWAT exercises in a fenced-off area of the station grounds; the former Circle Cinemas in Brookline for a simulated bank robbery and hostage situation; the Bowdoin MBTA Station for a simulated HazMat incident; Boston Harbor Anchorage #1 for simulated maritime operations and a ferry boat HazMat scenario; and the UMass Boston campus for a culminating exercise involving all agencies and a variety of exercises.
Also, eight hospitals throughout Boston will be involved for a simulation of a hazardous material decontamination event, management of simulated victims and activation of a medical intelligence center.
"Training is vital for our first responders. They are on the frontlines when an emergency occurs, and we want them trained in the best ways possible to handle any situation," said Mayor Thomas Menino. "Urban Shield: Boston displays the steps the metro-Boston region takes to prepare for all-hazards and sets a national example for cities around the country to create a coordinated full-scale training exercise."