CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Our local first responders are making sure they're ready for any emergency. A massive joint training exercise happened at the Coralwood Mall in Cape Coral.
It was between the Cape Coral police and fire departments, to the Lee County Sheriff's Office, Fort Myers Fire Department, Florida National Guard 48th Civil Support Team and the FBI.
Some training between a few agencies happens on a year to year basis, but a multi-agency training of this size hasn't happened in a long time.
The Cape Coral swat team, with guns drawn, burst into what once was a K-Mart. The scene is dangerous hazmat situation. "You're talking about a situation with a lot of stress," said Sgt. David Velez with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
It's all pretend. But whats very real, is the training, and experience these local, state and federal agencies get by working together. We're told a lack of communication. can lead to confusion, which is why this training is so important.
"Part of the event is actually to implement a unified command structure where we have all the main players working together to get in the unified command structure in the command post making decisions as a group," said Cape Coral fire Batallion Chief John Spicuzza.
The Boston Marathon bombings are not responsible for this training. The event was scheduled a year ago, and they started working on the exercise 6 months ago.
Phyllis Rogul lives down the street, and says its not every day she sees this in her neighborhood. "I think it's wonderful, just delightful to know that they are training to get the proper training so that people feel safe," she said.
"Small town America, heartland America is not immune. Southwest Florida is not immune to the danger," said Lt. Tony Sizemore with the Cape Coral Police Department. "God forbid if we do have something like this, its not the first time we've done it."
The Cape Coral Fire Department was in charge of this training. A video of it will be distributed to the agencies involved to be used as a learning tool.