RealNews

Responders to TopOff again

In an ongoing effort to improve the readiness of the nation’s first responders, the third congressionally mandated national exercise will be held next year in Connecticut, New Jersey and the United Kingdom. Exercises in TopOff, short for Top Officials, involve local, state and federal agencies and first responders responding to a mock terrorist attack involving weapons of mass destruction. TopOff events assess policies, procedures, interagency coordination and systems to find vulnerabilities. Participants in TopOff 2, which cost $16 million and involved 8,500 people from Canada and 25 federal, state and local agencies, were introduced to the scenarios prior to the exercise as a way to build and strengthen relationships. TopOff 3 will be held in April 2005. Full Story

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