Last week, members of the Boston Police Crime Scene Response Unit (CSRU), along with members of the Boston Fire Department, participated in a week-long training exercise at the MBTA training facility in the old Broadway T station in South Boston.
Using Federal grant funding, officers and firefighters came together to take part in the first ever T.E.R.T. Training (Tactical Emergency Response to Terrorism) in which first responders respond to a terrorist attack on the subway system. The training center is an abandoned subway station that was turned into a state-of-the-art training facility and opened in 2013.
During the training, a sound machine within the facility blasts officers and firefighters in the underground subway with the sounds of emergency alarms and a screaming, panicked crowd. Giant fog machines and dimmed, flashing lights throughout make visibility nearly impossible at times. Through all these distractions, firefighters and officers must work hand in hand to keep their composure and not only rescue victims, but preserve and process the crime scene as well. Said the CSRU supervisor:
“This training is an example of how the old ‘police versus fire’ mentality is slowly being replaced by a new realization that in a post 9-11 world, especially one where Federal funding is dwindling, inter-agency cooperation is required.”