BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) Officials in the metro-Boston area are warning the public about a 24-hour public safety exercise that includes simulated gunfire and simulated emergencies.
The operation, known as "Urban Shield," is scheduled to last from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday and includes several state, city, and federal agencies including the MBTA, Boston police, fire, and EMS, the Coast Guard, and the Metro-Boston Homeland Security Region. Some of the events these organizations will respond to include simulated HAZMAT situations, bank robberies, and SWAT exercises.
Mayor Tom Menino says this training is "vital for our first responders" and that the Urban Shield exercises display the steps that the metro-Boston region needs to take to be prepared for hazards.
Residents are urged not to be alarmed if they see the simulations or hear simulated gunfire in the area. All exercises will be conducted in cordoned off areas.
The following locations will host exercises:
· USS Salem (Quincy)
· The former B-2 Police Station (Boston)
· The former Circle Cinemas (Brookline)
· Bowdoin MBTA Station (Boston)
· Boston Harbor Anchorage #1 (Boston)
· UMass Boston Campus (Boston)
· Eight hospitals throughout Boston
The Urban Shield program is grant-funded through the Department of Homeland Security's Urban Area Security Initiative.