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Burlington Police and Fire Departments Host Inter-Agency Training Simulation

Police Chief Thomas P. Browne and Fire Chief Michael Patterson share that the Burlington Police Department and Burlington Fire Department hosted a multi-jurisdictional training exercise designed to help public safety agencies better respond to critical incidents.

More than 160 first responders and individuals from 36 agencies participated in the simulation at Burlington Mall on Sunday night, April 3

First responders from Burlington Police and Burlington Fire have been honing critical incident response skills since 2017, taking part in a tabletop simulation and numerous training sessions.

The real-time simulation tested the agencies in areas such as: Effectiveness of command and control structure; ability to work and communicate effectively among multiple jurisdictions simultaneously; on-scene security; health care; delivery of emergency medical services to those injured; ability to adapt to rapidly changing situations; and timely and accurate communications with the public and media.

First-responder agencies involved included the Burlington Police Department, Burlington Fire Department, Armstrong Ambulance, Burlington Mall Security, Bedford Fire Department, Billerica EMS, Lexington Police Department, Lexington Fire Department, Wilmington Police Department, Wilmington Fire Department, Woburn Police Department, and the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council.

Those agencies were supported by the Northeast Homeland Security Regional Advisory Council, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Simon Property Group, All-Comm Technologies, Inc., and John Guilfoil Public Relations.

Ascenttra, the company that facilitated the exercise, will provide an after-action report that presents an overview of the simulation and recommends changes in training, policies, and procedures.

“It was impressive to see the communication and coordination of these agencies in responding to a worst-case scenario. These are the skills we hope we never have to use but are nonetheless critical to develop and maintain,” said Chief Browne. “I commend Deputy Chief Robert Kirchner, who served as incident commander, for his leadership, and our entire team of responders for a successful training.”

“Every step through this training has been a learning experience,” Chief Patterson said. “This drill was one more step in the continuation of that education, and we will grow and improve as a Department as a result.”

“The safety and security of our shoppers and employees is a top priority and we are grateful for the ability to practice our critical response plans alongside our first responders,” said Justin Feldhouse, General Manager of Burlington Mall.

Chief Browne and Chief Patterson wish to thank state and federal agencies and their mutual aid partners for making the simulation a success. Chief Browne and Chief Patterson also wish to thank the management of Burlington Mall for making facilities available for the simulation, and for their decades-long support of first responders in Burlington.