Salt Lake City Emergency Management conducted a city-wide emergency response exercise on October 4, featuring a scenario of an active terrorist attack downtown. The drill, which tested new communication equipment that could be used in a terrorist attack or natural disaster, focused on the vulnerability of open spaces and popular gathering places known as soft targets.
This training utilized datacasting, a technology using existing television stations and digital television signals to provide secure broadcasts of voice, text, files, images and video. The digital signal for the datacast was provided by KBYU-TV.
“Today’s exercise met all of our testing objectives,” said Cory Lyman, Salt Lake City Director of Emergency Management. “With any training we find new areas where we could improve and today was no exception. However the actions of all those involved once again displayed that the level of emergency preparedness in Salt Lake City is very high.”
As part of the drill, City officials opened the Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center. As the scenario evolved throughout the drill, participants reacted to multiple attacks at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Vivint Smart Home Arena and City Creek Center.
“We could not have done this without the help of KBYU-TV,” Lyman said. “We’re also grateful to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Science and Technology, for being here to provide the program and participate in the exercise. It’s also very helpful when places like the Salt Palace, Vivint Smart Arena and City Creek Center allow us to use their facilities for our exercises.”
The annual drill is also beneficial for Salt Lake City employees whose daily job duties do not include emergency response, but they will be called into the Emergency Operations Center or Joint Information Center in the event of a real-life emergency incident.