Madison residents will hear large booms coming from Camp Randall Stadium Thursday as the largest and most sophisticated emergency response exercise in the state’s history, with more than 400 people will participate, according to UW-Madison police.
The terror drill will involve local and national departments, including the City of Madison, the American Red Cross, several area hospitals and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, UWPD spokesperson Marc Lovicott said Wednesday.
“Our philosophy is that emergencies can happen, and our job is to ensure that we can meet those challenges,” University of Wisconsin Police Department Emergency Management Supervisor Bill Curtis said in a news release.
“Operation Wisconsin Dawn,” is a full-scale, real-life simulation of terror attack at Camp Randall stadium to test the university’s emergency response capabilities.
Planning for the full-scale emergency drill at Camp Randall began more than a year ago states the Milwaukee Journal.
Operation Wisconsin Dawn aims to be as realistic and authentic as possible including explosions,emergency vehicles will respond with lights and sirens. In addition, local citizens are being warned to expect to witness smoke, and acting victims with fake blood and injuries.
A local street will closed including 1400 block of Monroe Street (Randall to Regent) from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Local police agencies regularly conduct similar training exercises but never anything on this scale, Lovicott said.
“[Camp Randall] is obviously an icon in Madison,” he said. “This will prepare us for something we hope will never happen. For whatever reason, sports arenas are sometimes looked at as a target because, obviously, you have a lot of people in one given place at one given time.”
“Judges will oversee the terror drill and file a report highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the agencies involved“, Lovicott explained.
“The success is that we will take a learning experience from [the exercise],” Lovicott said. “Nobody is going to be punished for doing something wrong. This is for us to make sure that we’re prepared if something like this were to happen.”
The terror drill participants include Emergency Management Unit of the UW-Madison Police Department, along with university, city, county, state, and federal agencies including the Madison Fire & Police Departments, Dane Country Sheriff Office & Emergency Management, Department of Justice, FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, UW Hospital, and Meriter Hospital.