NEW YORK (AP) - Several city agencies participated in a
five-hour field exercise that tested their readiness to respond to
a weapons of mass destruction attack on New York.
The real-time exercise, titled Operation Winter Sun, took place
on Sunday on a pier at 39th Street and 1st Avenue in Brooklyn. In
the exercise authorities responded to a 911 call in which
"patients" simulated the effects of a chemical, biological or
radiological attack. They were treated and decontaminated much as
they would be in an actual attack.
City officials evaluated the utilization of new counterterrorism
equipment during the exercise, the assessment of the patients by
emergency teams and the efforts made to contain the incident.
The evaluation will also be used for similar training in other
cities.
At a news conference, Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the drill
saying it shows "how responders, including local hospitals, deal
with a terrorist threat while minimizing risks to themselves and
others."
Similar drills were recently held in Seattle and Chicago which
included a simulated detonation of a radioactive "dirty bomb" and
a mock plague.
Operation Winter Sun was administered by the city's Office of
Emergency Management and involved the federal Department of
Homeland Security as well as the city's police, fire and health
departments, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the
Titan Corporation and the Greater New York Hospital Association.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)