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Multi-Agency Light-Rail Emergency Preparedness Exercise to be Held Tuesday, March 18

March 11, 2014

Metro Transit, the University of Minnesota and multiple public safety agencies will participate in a full-scale emergency preparedness exercise near TCF Bank Stadium on Tuesday, March 18.

The drill will commence at 9 a.m. near Stadium Village Station on the METRO Green Line. It will simulate an emergency situation involving a light-rail train and involve more than 250 individuals acting as first responders, controllers, evaluators and role players.

The University community, adjacent neighborhoods and newsrooms should be aware that smoke, individuals feigning distress or injury and fast-paced activity will be visible during this realistic exercise. Radio communication will also be used. Public safety will not be at risk.

Drills such as this are staged in part to meet federal requirements for new and existing rail lines. Recent multi-agency exercises include a simulated derailment on the Northstar Line in Anoka in 2012 and a mock bus-train crash in Bloomington in 2011. In addition, the drill will provide valuable hands-on training for first responders, law enforcement and communicators. It also provides local agencies an opportunity to continue to strengthen their partnerships and ensure they are prepared to keep the campus community and public safe. Exercise planning has been underway for several months.

University Campus Connector and Metro Transit Route 272 bus service will be detoured from a portion of the Intercampus Transitway between the University’s Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses starting at 6 p.m. Monday, March 17, through Tuesday, March 18. Customers are advised to see postings at bus stops or visit umn.edu/pts for additional information. Part of 23rd Ave. SE will also be closed Monday night and Tuesday, but impact on traffic is expected to be minimal.

Participating agencies in the preparedness exercise include:

-Federal Bureau of Investigation
-Metro Transit Police Department
-Minneapolis Fire Department
-Ramsey County Emergency Management and Homeland Security
-Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department
-Saint Paul Emergency Management
-Saint Paul Fire Department
-Saint Paul Police Department and Bomb Squad
-Salvation Army
-University of Minnesota Academic Health Center
-University of Minnesota Department of Emergency Management
-University of Minnesota Office of University Relations
-University of Minnesota Public Safety Communications
-University of Minnesota Parking and Transportation
-University of Minnesota Police Department

The METRO Green Line is scheduled to open for service on June 14. However, test trains are currently operating on the line and frequency of testing will continue to increase prior to opening day.

Twin Cities Campus: