Bay Area first responders hold emergency drill in San Francisco Bay

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There was a lot going on in the San Francisco Bay Wednesday with vessels and rescue boats. It was an emergency response operation without the actual emergency. (KGO-TV )

There was a lot going on in the San Francisco Bay Wednesday with vessels and rescue boats. It was an emergency response operation without the actual emergency.

Imagine an explosion inside a ferry with dozens of passengers on board. That's what happened during a drill Wednesday.

"When the explosion hit, I covered my face and that's what happened to my hands," said Gene Lee.

Gene Lee is just pretending to be injured, but the people helping him and others are real first responders training for an emergency in the waters of the bay.

This was not a typical training operation. Twenty-eight agencies were involved with 600 men and women participating. It was planned well in advance.

It was not meant to be a preparedness exercise in time for the Super Bowl, but it's comforting to know rescuers are prepared for anything out in the water.

"Anytime you have this level of preparedness for an event coming up like the Super Bowl, which is huge," Said Jim Swindler of the Golden Gate Ferry. "A lot of people to be riding the ferries over the next several weeks, so this event definitely will help that."

First responders practiced how to handle fires on board, how to confront a terrorist attack with an active shooter and how to transport the injured. Usually law enforcement and firefighters train primarily on land, water operations have occurred only four times in the past six years.

"We have great fire responses, great police, law enforcement responses but it's not practiced on a daily basis," said Bob Butchart of the Office of Emergency Services.

The money to conduct this training came from a grant awarded by the Federal Transit Administration and Golden Gate Ferry.
Related Topics:
newsrescueemergency drillmedical emergencysan francisco baySan FranciscoTiburonTreasure Island
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