Police vehicles

Tampa hosting large-scale emergency response drill

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The City of Tampa is gearing up for a full-scale emergency exercise on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, during which the Tampa Police Department, Tampa Fire Rescue, and 25 participating agencies will train on responding to a mass casualty incident.   The training scenario will involve simulated explosions and dozens of volunteers with fake wounds portraying victims or bystanders at the Tampa Convention Center. The exercise is designed to rigorously test the response capabilities of law enforcement, fire rescue, hospitals, and emergency management agencies in Tampa and the surrounding area in the event of an active threat.   Following the morning exercise at the Tampa Convention Center, participants will reconvene at the Port Tampa Bay Terminal 6 in the afternoon to train on the coordination of a family reunification center.  "This exercise is crucial for our city. It prepares us to respond effectively to any worst-case scenario and ensures the safety of our community,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “I am proud of our city’s proactive approach and the commitment to readiness our police and fire personnel have in the face of unforeseen disasters.”  

Road Closures

Surrounding the Tampa Convention Center, from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, the following road closures will be in place:

  • Franklin St closed southbound from Channelside Drive to Harbour Island Blvd Bridge beginning at 6:00 a.m.
  • Franklin St closed northbound from Channelside Drive to Harbour Island Blvd Bridge beginning at 8:00 a.m.
  • All lanes will reopen at 12:00 p.m. 

Mayor Jane Castor, Police Chief Lee Bercaw, and Fire Chief Barbara Tripp will be available at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday near the Sail Plaza, outside the Tampa Convention Center, to provide additional insight into the exercise's objectives and significance.   Media outlets attending the press conference will be asked to depart prior to the commencement of the exercise at 9:00 am. Parking will be available for media on Old Water Street, directly in front of the Tampa Marriott Water St, 505 Water St. An officer blocking the roadway will grant access to media.   The City of Tampa's Marketing and Communications Department will capture video footage from inside the Tampa Convention Center, which will be made available to the media via a press release by 1:00 p.m. Wednesday.    Media outlets interested in attending are asked to RSVP be emailing media@tampagov.net