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March 26, 2006


The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) today hosted TRIFECTA, a major multi-agency field exercise designed to test the City's response to a weapons of mass destruction incident on a rail line. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP), TRIFECTA was staged at the Maspeth Rail Yard in Queens.

TRIFECTA is part of the City's continuing efforts to test and refine its preparedness plans and emergency response protocols, as well as to strengthen coordination between emergency responders at the city, state, and federal levels.

Coordinated by OEM, the seven-hour, real-time drill began with a mock explosion at the Maspeth Rail Yard. Over 1500 emergency responders participated in TRIFECTA, while more than 100 police cadets portrayed victims. As the scenario unfolded, members of the Fire and Police Departments, as well as the Department of Environmental Protection and other response teams, were deployed to the scene to initiate rescue operations.

"TRIFECTA allows us to refine the City's response to emergencies under CIMS, the Citywide Incident Management System," said OEM Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno. "At the same time, it helps New York City remain the most prepared city in the country."

Joining Commissioner Bruno were senior officials from the Mayor's Office, New York City Police Department (NYPD), the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Rescuers were challenged to assist the "walking wounded," free victims trapped in the debris, and contend with hundreds of exiting passengers, among other issues.

Designed to test the City's response to a WMD event in a transportation setting, TRIFECTA examined interagency coordination in accordance with the CIMS, responders' ability to rescue, treat, and track casualties, the integration of federal, state, and regional assets and the City's ability to protect the public.

TRIFECTA was planned in conjunction with partners including:

  • American Red Cross of Greater NY
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Greater New York Hospital Association
  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • MTA Long Island Rail Road
  • MTA Police Department
  • National Transportation Safety Board
  • New York and Atlantic Railway
  • NYC Community Emergency Response Teams
  • NYC Department of Environmental Protection
  • NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications
  • NYC Police Department
  • NYC Fire Department
  • NYC Fire Department-Emergency Medical Service
  • NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation
  • NYC Mayor's Office
  • NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
  • NYC Office of Emergency Management
  • NYS Emergency Management Office
  • Port Authority of NY and NJ
  • Regional Emergency Medical Services Council
  • Salvation Army
  • US Department of Homeland Security

City officials and DHS representatives will evaluate the objectives of this exercise and study the response and decisions made by the participants for future training in New York City and in other jurisdictions.

OEM is currently planning future tabletop and field exercises. Funding for these drills, as well as TRIFECTA, is provided by a federal grant through the Department of Homeland Security(DHS). The City is grateful for DHS' continued support of such efforts to ensure New Yorkers' safety.

TRIFECTA would not have been possible without the efforts of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York and Atlantic Railway.

CONTACT: Jarrod Bernstein / Andrew Troisi (718) 422-4888