Police, first responders take over MARTA station for training - CBS46 News

Police, first responders take over MARTA station for training exercise

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Police and first responders from MARTA and the cities of College Park and East Point gathered at the College Park MARTA station Saturday night for an emergency preparedness training session.

Officials said the nearly 300 people involved include dozens of volunteers.

"What we have is mobilization of local law enforcement and first responders that come together in a unified command to respond to a particular incident," said MARTA Police Department Sgt. Aston Greene. "That incident could be anything from a natural disaster to a terrorist incident to a major accident."

It was a dress rehearsal for the day most everyone hopes will never happen, but one authorities said they must be prepared to handle.

"They will operate with some information they get from their incident command that tells them the intelligence of the situation - who, what, when, where and what is happening. Are there any victims? Are there any suspicious packages? Are there any suspicious people? Based on that information, they are able to craft a plan on how they are going to respond," said Greene.

Authorities wouldn't say what type of incidents they would be simulating, but with a movie production crew on hand including makeup artists, they said it was sure to look and feel real.

"We may use pyrotechnics, which are small explosions, to simulate an actual improvised explosive device. We will use fake gunshots, we will use fire, we will use a structural collapse so people know if an explosion happens, they will have to maneuver through debris. Preparedness in this type of training is essential to our security profile," Greene said.

The exercise will last until 5 a.m. Sunday morning.

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