In recent months, California and the nation have been no strangers to devastating natural and man-made emergencies. This week, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) will join with the California National Guard’s Homeland Response Force (HRF) and 95th Civil Support Team, along with multiple State/Federal Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces, CAL FIRE, FBI, the Department of Energy, and several other elite emergency response agencies for a full-scale terrorism and active-shooter response exercise at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena and Sonoma Raceway.
“In just the last year we’ve seen our highly trained emergency response and recovery teams deployed across the nation to lead critical lifesaving missions,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “This exercise will test those critical rescue and response skills, as well as enhance our ability to respond to real world events that could happen anywhere in California, our nation or in other parts of the world.”
Cal OES leadership and local, state, and federal emergency-response agencies will gather for the exercise at Sleep Train Arena, 1 Sports Parkway, Sacramento on Thursday, March 22.
The training scenario involves a series of simultaneous terrorist attacks across Northern California following a 6.5-magnitude earthquake. The attacks include simulated improvised explosive devices (IED), the detonation of a simulated radiation-dispersal device (RDD) and firearms. Sleep Train Arena will serve as the training site for IED and RDD response, while Sonoma Raceway will be the site for active shooter response training. Hundreds of emergency-response personnel, vehicles, and aircraft are expected to participate.
“It’s only through regular, realistic training alongside our partner agencies that we keep our skills sharp and response times low,” said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, Adjutant General for the California National Guard. “These exercises establish the relationships and inter-agency coordination that is fundamental to an effective response during emergency incidents.”
Many of the first responders participating in this exercise were part of the massive mutual aid response during the October wildfires, December wildfires and January mudslides that included more than 20,000 personnel coordinated by Cal OES.
Cal OES is responsible for the coordination of overall state agency response to major disasters in support of local government. The agency is responsible for assuring the state’s readiness to respond to and recover from all hazards – natural, man-made, war-caused emergencies and disasters – and for assisting local governments in their emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and hazard mitigation efforts. Visit them online at www.caloes.ca.gov or @Cal_OES on Twitter and get the latest news at OESNews.com.