URBAN SHIELD; Red Area Command in South San Francisco

One of the 12 scenarios during Urban Shield in South San Francisco

One of the 12 scenarios during Urban Shield in South San Francisco

URBAN SHIELD; Red Area Command in South San Francisco

By Kamala Silva Wolfe, Peninsula Progress September 2012

“We are the City that can”, Chief White said as he pointed to Sign Hill. “We are industrious and we can do it!”  There was a sense of satisfied accomplishment after the Urban Shield Drill in which SSFFD Chief Phil White took the lead for the RED AREA Command as Branch Director of the Urban Shield 2012.  “We had 12 scenarios and over 500 participants here in South San Francisco during the 2 day event last month.  This was an incredible opportunity for multiple agencies to come together and train for potential and real life, threats.”

The Chief was referring to the Urban Shield 2012 which is a planned training exercise involving local, national and international first responder agencies as well as trained volunteers, including our own SSF CERT members (Community Emergency Response Team).  The goal is to assist tactical teams and all first responders in preparing for and being able to provide a unified response to disasters and major emergencies.  While Alameda County Sheriff’s Department has been putting this program on for the past five years, this is the first time The South San Francisco Fire Department has hosted the “Fire Branch” portion of Urban Shield. “As the first fire branch in San Mateo County to host Urban Shield, the South San Francisco Fire Department thanks our local and regional partners for participating in this important training exercise,” said South San Francisco Fire Chief Phil White.  “This year’s event is the largest regional public safety drill held in San Mateo County in over a decade.”

One of the 12 scenarios; A railcar hazmat leak Photo courtesy of Angelique Presidente

One of the 12 scenarios; A railcar hazmat leak Photo courtesy of Angelique Presidente

This extensive drill was based on hazardous materials and/or Urban Search and Rescue incidents.  Emphasis was placed on decision-making skills and cooperation between those that generally are first on scene of an emergency including; Fire, Rescue, Hazardous Materials Teams, Police, EMS, Public Works, Business and Community Emergency Response Team personnel.  There was a very impressive turn out with folks coming from multiple jurisdictions including Idaho Regional Response Team, South San Francisco, Marin County, Santa Clara County, Colma, San Mateo, Central County, Southern Marin, Half Moon Bay, Belmont, San Jose as well as a Civilian Assistance Team with the U.S. Army and South San Francisco CERT members.

“We did extensive outreach” Chief White explained “We wanted those in our community to realize these were drills should they encounter them, and not be alarmed that they were actual emergencies. We have been working on our part of the Urban Shield, the 12 scenarios under the Red Area Command, since January.  Much of our publicity was overshadowed by the Giants and the World Series yet we believe the successful training during this event is important for people in and around San Mateo County to know, if even after the fact.”

The San Francisco Peninsula is home to many vulnerable situations including the earthquakes which we all have been encouraged to prepare for being self sufficient for three to seven days. In addition we have the San Francisco International Airport, two major highways 101 and 280, railroads, biological life science interests, Pacific Ocean, San Francisco Bay, among some of them.  Training for all types of emergencies continues throughout the county and residents are encouraged to work with their cities through their Community Emergency Response programs. For more information contact your local city hall or fire department.

An overturned school bus caused by terrorists was one of the 12 scenarios

An overturned school bus caused by terrorists was one of the 12 scenarios

 

Cliff rescue was part of the terrorist hijacking of a school bus in one of the scenarios Photo Angelique Presidente

Cliff rescue was part of the terrorist hijacking of a school bus in one of the scenarios
Photo Angelique Presidente

Members Participating in This Weekend’s Urban Shield Exercises Await Deployment to

Hurricane Sandy

Scenarios to Replicate Hurricane Emergency Response Scenarios

 

WHAT: Urban Shield 2012 Emergency Training Exercises

DATE: Sunday, October 28, 2012

TIME: 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: South San Francisco Fire Department Station 61 (please check in at the PIO tent)

LOCATION: 480 North Canal Street, South San Francisco, California

MEDIA PARTICIPATION:  Members of the media can be included into the training scenarios

PHOTO OP: Technical rope rescues, victim entrapments, and structural collapse.

ABOUT: Last night, the Federal government deployed search and rescue resources to Hurricane Sandy preparedness efforts in the East Coast. The Urban Shield emergency training exercises held in the Bay Area this weekend reflect some of the same scenarios that are Hurricane Sandy presents. 

 

A total of twelve “Fire Branch” scenarios will take place throughout South San Francisco and will be based on hazardous materials and/or Urban Search and Rescue incidents.  Emphasis will be placed on decision-making skills and cooperation between the first responders that usually present at the scene of an emergency (Urban Search & Rescue, Fire, Technical Rescue, Hazardous Materials Teams, Police, EMS, Public Works, Business and Community Emergency Response Team personnel).

 

Participating jurisdictions include: Idaho Regional Response Team, South San Francisco, Marin County, Santa Clara County, Colma, San Mateo, Central County, Southern Marin, Half Moon Bay, Belmont, San Jose as well as a Civilian Assistance Team with the U.S. Army and South San Francisco CERT members. Over 500 first responders and volunteers are expected to participate over the course of the weekend.

 

About Urban Shield: Urban Shield 2012 is a planned training exercise involving local, national and international first responder agencies as well as trained volunteers.  The goal is to assist tactical teams and all first responders in preparing for and being able to provide a unified response to disasters and major emergencies.  Web site: http://www.urbanshield.org/

 

About the South San Francisco Fire Dept.:  The 85 members of the South San Francisco Fire Department, headed by Chief Philip White provide residents with top notch service in fire suppression, emergency medical services, code enforcement, fire investigation and public education.  Web site: http://www.ssf.net/index.aspx?nid=416

 

Media Contacts:

Luis Da Silva, Fire Marshal
South San Francisco Fire Dept.                                      

Tel. 650-291-7951                      

South San Francisco Fire Department Hosts “Fire Branch” of Urban Shield 2012

 

Over 500 First Responders and Volunteers Participate in Emergency Training Exercise

 

October 27, 2012—South San Francisco, Calif.—The South San Francisco Fire Department is hosting the “Fire Branch” portion of Urban Shield 2012 in partnership with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.

This 48-hour comprehensive, full-scale regional exercise began Friday, October 26, 2012 and will end on Monday, October 29, 2012.  Residents and local business owners should take note that this is a training exercise and not a “live” emergency situation.

 

“As the first fire branch in San Mateo County to host Urban Shield, the South San Francisco Fire Department thanks our local and regional partners for participating in this important training exercise,” said South San Francisco Fire Chief Phil White.  “This year’s event is the largest regional public safety drill held in San Mateo County in over a decade.”

 

A total of twelve “Fire Branch” scenarios will take place throughout South San Francisco and will be based on hazardous materials and/or Urban Search and Rescue incidents.  Emphasis will be placed on decision-making skills and cooperation between the first responders that usually present at the scene of an emergency (Fire, Rescue, Hazardous Materials Teams, Police, EMS, Public Works, Business and Community Emergency Response Team personnel).

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