For those driving by Kauffman Stadium Wednesday, they may have seen a lot police, fire and other emergency crews, but there's no need to be alarmed - it's all a drill. Emergency agencies are being put to the test to see how they respond to disasters that could come up during All-Star Week.
It was a dramatic scene as the SWAT unit surrounded two dangerous suspects in the parking lot of Kauffman Stadium, but it wasn't the only emergency that rocked the ballpark Wednesday.
The bomb that went off in a dumpster and all the other commotion going on at The "K" was all part of a mock safety drill.
"I have no idea what they are going to throw at us. I'm sure it will be several worst case scenarios," Capt. Steve Young with the Kansas City Police Department said.
The scenarios were set up to put police officers, firefighters and other agencies to the test to see how well prepared they are for real emergencies that could come up during All-Star Week in July. Even the media was included in the exercise by having them ask tough questions.
To deter a terrorist attack, special monitors will be set up around The "K" to detect radiological and nuclear materials. Homeland Security was there with 14 other agencies for Wednesday's Operation Safe at Home drill.
"You can put a plan on paper but, especially with number of jurisdictions and agencies we have working together, the opportunity to work out the kinks is invaluable," Young said.
Just as the All-Star players have to practice to be great, the agencies want to make sure, if a disaster strikes, they will be ready to step up to the plate.
"Overall everyone is doing well. There will be a few things we learn after today and we will sit down with players to tell us what went wrong and what went right for them," said Gene Shepherd, the emergency operations manager.
There are eight different objectives that emergency crews practiced throughout the day. They tested new radio and incident systems and worked to collaborate on decision-making processes between agencies. Hazmat crews also worked to detect chemical, biological, nuclear and explosive problems, and the bomb squad worked with them.
The participating agencies also worked to coordinate getting information to the media and emergency medical services staged triage preparations.
Even area hospitals took part in the exercise. Next month, military experts from Leavenworth are going to look at and review Kansas City's plan and offer their input on ways to improve it.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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