Exercise Arden - MOCK terrorist attack in Birmingham
EMERGENCY services are responding to a simulated terrorist attack in Birmingham city centre this morning (Thursday 15 August) as part of a major European exercise.
Co-ordinated by West Midlands Police in conjunction with CBRNE Ltd, the exercise is an opportunity for blue-light services and the local authority to evaluate emergency procedures in the West Midlands.
The scenario involves the release of a chemical during a conference in Hall 5 of Birmingham’s International Convention Centre. Researchers from King’s College London are analysing the reaction of around 150 volunteers who were at the conference as part of a research project looking at public responses to extreme events. The study will help identify practices and procedures that can make emergency response more effective.
Today’s exercise is the first of three taking place across Europe over the next two years as part of an EU funded initiative to improve the preparedness and resilience of member states to a terrorist attack. The other exercises will be in Sweden next year and Poland in 2015.
The choice of scenario and location does not imply that such an event is either likely or imminent, but will allow participants to gain valuable information on people’s responses and requirements, which in turn will further develop emergency procedures currently in place.