Saving lives in times of crisis – that was the focus of a mock bomb exercise hosted by TSA in Rochester, Minnesota. Local TSA brought together Rochester Public Transit, police, fire, the Emergency Management Department, public utilities, and the world-renowned Mayo Clinic to practice communication and response.
The scenario was a bomb incident on a transit bus and allowed participants to show how they would respond. The event was part of the Exercise Information System (EXIS) outreach program, TSA’s premier tool to guide government and industry through the exercise planning process.
“The program was an important opportunity for Rochester Public Transit to explore and rehearse reactions to stressful and dangerous situations,” said Transportation Security Inspector (TSI) Aaron Widboom. “[The participants] were very impressed with the professionalism, knowledge, and commitment shown by all involved. They believe Rochester Public Transit is a better, safer, and more secure public transit agency because of this exercise.”
TSI Alexander Isaak said TSA has partnered with surface transportation agencies on multiple occasions to “assess and mitigate vulnerabilities.” He said, “Rochester Public Transit has shown the safeguarding of its transit passengers to be a high priority, and they put forth the effort required to keep improving their security posture.”
“The Rochester EXIS was a great example of how our [TSA-Surface team] partnership with local partners has developed through previous events and exercises,” said Deputy Federal Security Director David McMahon. “The willingness and experience of the participants provided one of the best exercises that has occurred in Minnesota. TSA Minnesota leadership is extremely proud of our TSA-Surface team for their continued outreach across our state and always keeping security of the transportation system in the forefront.”