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Camp Randall Stadium “Under Attack” Tomorrow in Huge Drill

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014   

MADISON, Wis. – They're calling it Operation Wisconsin Dawn.

Thursday at 7 a.m., Camp Randall Stadium on the University of Wisconsin campus will be the scene of a simulated bombing, involving hundreds of law enforcement personnel and emergency responders.

UW Police spokesman Marc Lovicott says police have binders full of emergency plans.

"Well, in the real world that may not be the best choice,” he says. “And that's why we use these very realistic full-scale exercises to fine-tune our emergency response to make sure we're doing a good job to keep the public safe, to keep ourselves safe, and to help those who are affected by something like this."

Lovicott says it will be as realistic as possible, including the sound of a bomb going off and a huge cloud of smoke, with simulated serious injuries to volunteer victims.

Emergency responders from UW Hospital and Meriter Hospital will converge on the scene.

"From what I understand, there will be an individual that police are looking for who was responsible for the bombing so there will be a tactical response as well where teams will actually be moving in to try and find a suspect," Lovicott explains.

Lovicott says in this day and age, people are much more aware of catastrophes at large events such as the bombings at the Boston Marathon in 2013, and this exercise will help first responders sharpen their skills in a realistic setting.

Operation Wisconsin Dawn will kick it up a notch, according to Lovicott.

"We do full-scale exercises similar to this every few years,” he says. “A number of years ago I think we simulated a car bombing. This takes it to a whole new level, though, and this is a multi-jurisdictional response including the FBI."

How big will it be?

"Probably one of the, if not the, largest-scale emergency exercise the state has ever done,” he says. “We're excited, we're stressed, and that's a good thing because we're going to learn a lot and we'll see how it all goes."





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