The largest security training exercise in Boston’s history is slated to kick off Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with a simulated active school-shooter drill in Brookline. It will continue with other drills over a full 24 hours and involve about 2,000 state and local personnel.
“The Urban Shield Program, as we’ve learned over the last year, is essential to our city’s safety any time of crisis,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said at a press conference Thursday morning announcing the program. This will be the third year the city has held the exercises.
“Since the 2013 Boston Marathon, we learned a lot about resiliency as a community and about professionalism of our first responders. This initiative has a lot to do with that,” said Walsh.
Boston residents should not be alarmed, authorities said, if they see an increased police presence Saturday.
Rene Fielding, director of the city’s office of emergency management, declined to give specific details about each drill to avoid tipping off participants, but said each drill is inspired by real-world events and selected because it prepares participants for possible scenarios.
In addition to the school-shooter drill, participants will respond to drills involving an injured officer in Cambridge, a hospital evacuation in Boston, a hostage rescue of elected officials at Boston City Hall, an explosive device on a transit system in Boston, a structural collapse on Moon Island and a simulation of a terrorist takeover with hostages at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
Boston police, fire, EMS, emergency management, and public health officials will all take part in the drills, along with personnel from the cities of Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, and the towns of Brookline and Winthrop.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals staff will also participate, officials said.

Police, Fire Officials to Practice Mock-Emergency Drills Around Boston

‘Residents should not to be alarmed. There is no danger to anyone in the area.’

By  | Boston Daily | 
On May 3, if you happen to see members of the police force diving into action to respond to a “situation” at the Hynes Convention Center, or witness first responders deal with a “hostage” rescue of elected officials somewhere near City Hall, don’t be alarmed: this is only a drill.
Boston’s Office of Emergency Management is hosting a regional training exercise called Urban Shield: Boston that requires police, fire, and public health officials to go through mock-emergency situations, to better prepare them for the potential of a real-life emergency.
The simulated rescue efforts will start at 8 a.m. on Saturday, and finish up by the same time the following day. The 24-hour drill will span several communities, and include collaborations with 2,000 personnel from the Metro-Boston Homeland Security Region—this includes Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, Brookline, and Winthrop—state officials, and transit officers from the MBTA.
The faux “large-scale public safety incidents” will include exercises like handling an active-shooter situation, dealing with an “explosive device” found on a transit line, and attending to a “wounded officer,” according to a notice sent out by Mayor Marty Walsh’s office. Responders will be tasked with appropriately tackling 11 drills in total this weekend, based on past emergencies in the area. “As we saw last year during the Boston Marathon attacks, our first responders are well trained to handle any situation,” said Walsh in a statement. “Urban Shield: Boston is a unique training exercise that enables our first responders to work collaboratively in a simulated environment so they can operate effectively in real-world scenarios.”
The program, funded by a grant from the Urban Area Security Initiative, through the Department of Homeland Security, first kicked off in 2011. The Boston-area played host to the mock drills in 2012.
City officials said because the simulated drills will be practiced more than once during the 24-hour span, residents might see a lot of activity in and around Boston. “Residents should not to be alarmed. There is no danger to anyone in the area, and exercises will be done in cordoned-off areas away from the public,” officials said.