Bay Area tests ability to respond to terror attacks

May 18, 2010 12:47:23 PM PDT
Emergency responders are taking part in anti-terror drills around the Bay Area and throughout the state today. The focus is on securing ports and the efforts will include dolphins and sea lions.

About 3,000 people are participating in the 6th annual statewide Golden Guardian exercise. People are participating from all levels of government and private sector.

An emergency operations center has been set up in Oakland. The scenario is that there has been a terrorist attack on a container ship in the Port of Oakland. There is a fire onboard and a toxic cloud has formed and is moving towards downtown Oakland. An evacuation has been ordered. The Coast Guard, Oakland fire and police, Alameda County sheriff's department, the Port of Oakland and other agencies are training in case that tragedy should strike.

"The main purpose of the exercise is for us to figure out all the things we don't know and find out why are communications don't work, if they don't work. Why none of us know what to do, if we don't. And hopefully to figure out who really does know, what we do know," said City of Oakland Administrator Dan Lindheim.

San Francisco's scenario will involve the navy marine mammal program. Dolphins will be tracking an underwater terrorist and will indicate his location with a marker. Also a sea lion will be there carrying a leg cuff tied to a rope in its mouth. It will clamp that cuff on the terrorist's leg so that authorities can pull him ashore.

These are not new tactics -- they have been used by the military for their purposes for years, now it is being incorporated in the homeland security field.


Load Comments