Pierce Transit personnel will participate in a terrorist response exercise in two locations on Thursday, June 12. Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway and Washington State Fair & Event Center in Puyallup will each be the scene of simulated terrorist attacks on Pierce Transit buses.
More than 60 volunteers will assist by playing passengers on the buses, enabling first responders to more realistically respond to the wounded on the bus “explosions.”
This terrorist response exercise is the culmination of 16 months worth of training, drills, and tabletop exercises with Pierce Transit and its partners and stakeholders. These exercises are designed to allow participating agencies the opportunity to practice emergency response, enabling responders to better know each other’s skills, resources and assets, as well as to practice communications between each agency.
Over 300 response participants include representatives from Pierce Transit, Central Pierce Fire & Rescue, Graham Fire & Rescue, King County Metro Transit Police, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, Pierce County Parks and Recreation, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Pierce County Type 3 Incident Management Team, Regional Intelligence Group, South Sound 9-1-1, and the Tacoma Police Department. Funding for this exercise was provided by Department of Homeland Security grants.
Special media notice: Media is invited to observe either scenario.
For the Sprinker Recreation Center site (14824 C St., Spanaway), media is asked to check in at the Incident Command Post by 9:45 a.m. for a briefing on the exercise. The exercise will begin at approximately 10:30 a.m. The scenario is a transit bus which has just had a bomb explode, and then another bomb will be found inside of Sprinker. There will be multiple casualties as first responders show up on scene, including a bomb robot and bomb-sniffing dogs.
For the Washington State Fair & Event Center site (1404 5th St. SW in Puyallup), media is asked to check in by 9:30 a.m. for a briefing on the exercise. The exercise will begin at approximately 10 a.m. At this scenario, a “hijacked” bus will be utilized for hostage negotiations and SWAT response. First responders from law and fire will respond to the buses, and work on neutralizing the bad guys and assisting the multiple victims.
Sheri Badger, Pierce County Emergency Management
253-798-2204 or 253-377-4149 (cell)