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Terrorist attack exercise in Putnam County

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Over 300 emergency service personnel from Yonkers were on hand for an exercise to test the city's preparedness in the event of terrorist attack. 

It is a tactical training exercise, a simulation of a terrorist attack unlike anything the City of Yonkers emergency service personnel has ever done before. The exercise was carried out at one of the regions newest and largest training facilities. 

A heavily armed police unit, responding to a simulated a terrorist attack – was all in a day's work at the Paladin Center in Carmel, NY.   

"This is a joint exercise involving the Yonkers Police, Fire and the Westchester County Bomb Squad," said Charles Gardner, Yonkers Police Commissioner. 

On this day, the City of Yonkers emergency service personnel is using the public safety training ground at the Paladin Center to practice responding to a mass shooting and chemical attack. 

"The element of trying to get fire and EMS in to treat victims sooner than later," said Deputy Chief John Flynn of the Yonkers Fire Department. 

As crews work to decontaminate victims, communication teams are able monitor everything from inside.  

Supervisors watch it all unfold on a big screen, analyzing every step. An emergency team was in a warehouse looking for the shooters. 

"This is a great test and exercise in how to respond to these kinds of catastrophic situations," said Congresswoman Nan Hayworth (R-NY). 

"This particular exercise would normally cost the City of Yonkers $400,000. In having it here (Carmel, NY), it's going to cost $200,000" said Assemblyman Steve Katz. 

Every dollar we save stretches out for another program," said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. "It's a little bit of a haul to get up here but it's worth it." 

The Paladin Center just opened this January and it offers a range of tactical training exercises. 

CEO Felix Carcano says this one is the most complex to date.

"Within an hour drive there are 600,000 people that are deemed first responders. Every one of those people need this type of integrated training – nothing like it in the area," said Carcano. 

No one would wish for this situation, but the possibility is why everyone here needs the training. 

"To test our ability to work together and to be able to respond to these large scale incidents," said Police Commissioner Gardner.

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