UW-Police hold disaster training exercise at Camp Randall - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UW-Police hold disaster training exercise at Camp Randall

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MADISON (WKOW)-- There was quite a commotion on UW-Madison campus Thursday, as 20 law enforcement agencies participated in a first of its kind training exercise. Operation Wisconsin Dawn gave responders a realistic emergency experience that featured a fake bomb explosion at the Camp Randall concourse.

The situation was a bomb exploding during a fun run event, similar to the popular Crazy Legs race, which starts in downtown Madison, but ends inside the stadium. This situation was inspired by the 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon.

"Folks learned a lot from Boston. We wanted to try and take some of the information from there, bring it over here to see how we would respond to something like this, should it ever happen," UW-Police Spokesman Marc Lovicott says. "We hope it doesn't happen, but we want to be prepared in case it does."

Realism was the name of the game. Most responders didn't know what they were getting into. Organizers of the event wanted to keep responders in the dark so they could simulate a real life emergency happening before their very eyes.

"You don't want everyone knowing what's going to happen," UW-Police Lt. Aaron Chapin says. "Responders know enough to keep them safe, but we wanted to simulate a real-life event."

The operation first started with responders giving medical aid to dozens of victims. The actors were portraying runners who were injured during a race inside Camp Randall. Once the victims were treated and transported, the situation turned into an investigation. Officials brought in a bomb-sniffing K9 unit to find the fake bomb. Special explosion experts were also on scene.

A $15,000 grant from Wisconsin Emergency Management paid for the drill. Safety was a big concern during the event. That's why organizers decided to not keep all firearms out of the disaster area. Other training exercises across the country have lead to severe accidents with officers.

The university held similar exercises five years ago. Officials set up a fake car bomb exercise and also simulated an active shooter situation on campus.


MADISON (WKOW) -- A disaster drill is underway in Madison to simulate a bomb attack on Camp Randall Stadium.

The UW-Madison Police Department is conducting a full-scale emergency exercise to test the university's ability to respond to a disaster situation. The exercise started at 7:00 a.m. Thursday and simulated an explosion at the football stadium on campus.
Local, state and federal agencies are involved, including UW-Madison Police, the Dane County Sheriff's Office, the Madison Police Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, Capitol Police FBI and many others.

27 News reporter Gordon Severson is covering the drill. Tune into 27 News at 5 & 6 for more and check back at www.wkow.com for updates throughout the day.

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