DC area agencies to conduct mass rescue exercise off National Harbor

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Coast Guard and about a dozen other federal, state, and local agencies are participating in a mass rescue exercise Tuesday, conducting mock rescues of people in the water from a staged boating incident near the National Harbor.

“No single agency can respond to a large-scale mass rescue,” said Lt. Cmdr. Grant Johnson, the coordinator for the exercise from Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region. “Due to the number of people and different complexities that arise in these types of incidents, multiple agencies all respond at once, which is why opportunities to train together are important.”

The exercise is aimed to maintain efficient coordination between different agencies in the event of a large-scale emergency. Water taxis supplied by Entertainment Cruises will be used for the exercise, and students from George Washington University will be acting as the participants.

“We really appreciate the help from Entertainment Cruises, the National Harbor and GWU,” said Johnson. “They didn’t have to volunteer for this, but it’s an initiative that will ultimately make the waterways a safer place and they decided to be a part of it.”

Participants include: National Harbor, Entertainment Cruises, D.C. Fire Department, D.C. Police Department, Metro Washington Airport Authority, Metropolitan Police Department Harbor Patrol, D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, Prince George’s County Police Department, Prince George’s County Fire Department, Maryland Natural Resource Police, Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region, Alexandria County Emergency Management, U.S. Park Police, Potomac Tow Boat, Prince George’s County Office of Emergency Management and George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates.

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