Progressive Field site of large-scale emergency drill

5:23 PM, Apr 23, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- In this week following the bombings in Boston, the Northeast Ohio region is taking a closer look at its emergency response capabilities.

Tuesday at Progressive Field, law enforcement agencies put themselves to the test with a series of mock disaster drills.

Fire trucks and SWAT vehicles surrounded the ballpark. Explosions could be heard outside in Gateway Plaza.

Cleveland Fire and Police Departments, along with the SWAT team, FBI, Ohio National Guard, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's office and the Cleveland Indians were testing the "what if."

Media wasn't allowed inside, but we did catch a glimpse of the empty ballpark with plastic, would-be victims in the seats. The agencies simulated an explosion and then reacted as if there was an active shooter inside.

This drill is something these emergency responders do every year but, considering last week's events, the reality of what could happen was far greater.

The participants were graded on their response by Homeland Security.

"The people who were evaluating us wanted to make sure we were following that. Such as, where we were establishing our command post, who's in charge," says Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba.

Social media was also part of the test. After the Boston Marathon Bombings, phone lines were shut down and social media was the only form of communication.

Tuesday's drill tested the reach of Twitter and how effective it was for emergency responders.


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