conventional explosive terrorist event

Purpose of the Exercise

The purpose of the exercise is to focus on emergency responder command, control, and coordination of local resources with the integration of state and federal resources. The exercise will evaluate your ability to make the decisions necessary to protect and save lives during a conventional explosive terrorist event.

Pre-Incident Scenario and Questions

Thursday, August 1, in Atlanta, GA

Three unknown, suspicious individuals are outside the Richard B. Russell Federal Building in Atlanta, GA, and have been spotted outside a hotel and conference center. They are taking pictures and following international diplomats attending an international summit. Local residents of the area noticed the individuals and informed the police department. When the police arrive at both scenes, the individuals are gone.

Friday, August 2, in Atlanta, GA

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have received intelligence that there is a threat to the international summit and that terrorists are targeting federal buildings in the southeastern United States. There has been an increase of suspicious individuals taking photographs and monitoring the federal buildings in Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Columbia, SC; Jacksonville, FL; and Raleigh, NC.

Saturday, April 3, in Atlanta, GA

The FBI receives notification from the federal building in Columbia, SC, that a suspicious vehicle has been left abandoned in the parking garage beside the side entrance of the building. Inside the abandoned vehicle, local responders found bomb-making instructions and blueprints of federal and capital buildings in the southeastern United States. The FBI sent out a release to other federal, state, and local organizations with a warning to be on the lookout for suspicious people and vehicles near capital and federal buildings in the southeastern United States.

Incident Scenario and Questions

Friday, April 9, in Atlanta, GA

Today is the annual Peach Festival in Atlanta. Downtown, there is a parade and a block party on Main Street. The block party features live concerts by famous bands from Atlanta. A crowd has gathered downtown for the concerts and the parade. There are more than 20,000 people in attendance. A large number of people have gathered close to the hotel on Main Street. Two late-model black vans drove through the police entry control points and through the traffic barriers. The first black van crashed into the barrier and veered into the crowd. The second vehicle made a run at the federal building. The driver of the vehicle detonated the explosive in front of the federal building using a cellphone device. This resulted in a partial collapse of the three-story, concrete-reinforced building, resulting in fires around the building and casualties from the crowd at the concert.

Initial Response

Multiple calls started coming into 911, gridlocking the 911 system. Fire, police, emergency medical services (EMS), and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) squads are dispatched to the scene labeled as an unknown type of explosion with smoke. The first police officer on-scene confirms building damage and fire. There are mass casualties outside and inside the building. The Atlanta responders arrive on scene and request assistance from county emergency responders. The type of incident is unknown, and the numbers of casualties are unknown.

The FBI agents from the Atlanta field office arrive.
The state emergency operations center (SEOC) is activated.
Major media is on scene converging on the story.
3 Hours Later

Local hospitals within five miles have reached maximum capacity from the walking wounded who are seeking medical attention.

Estimated fatalities: Approximately 200
Estimated level-1 trauma patients: Approximately 20
Non-life-threatening injuries: Approximately 80
Estimated missing/unaccounted for: Approximately 120
Based on the hypothetical emergency scenario, answer the following questions in the form of an essay. Your essay must be at least 200 words in length. Number your answers to correspond with the essay questions below.

Discuss the issues arising from the current situation. Identify requirements, critical issues, and decisions that need to be addressed at this time. Formulate a plan to deal with the urgency of treating the casualties.
Would you establish an incident command center at this point?
Who would be designated as the incident commander? Why?
Would you request state and federal assistance? Explain why or why not.

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