Last month, we hosted an inter-agency drill for emergency evacuation on the water. Last week, the Water Taxi was host once again for a large-scale exercise in responding to a maritime threat onboard a vessel in our region.
The King County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team conducted the underway exercise in Puget Sound aboard the Sally Fox. The purpose was to test the ability of multiple jurisdictions and agencies to work together to plan and execute a complex mission involving tactical personnel, various marine units, and helicopters.
The scenario for the exercise was an active shooter incident aboard an underway vessel in Puget Sound – testing the procedures, policies, and techniques, reinforcing the training regimen, and exercising a wide range of potential natural and man-made incidents.
Having a helicopter hovering ten feet overhead dropping SWAT teams, with the realistic sounds of simulated ammunition being fired all around, was like being in the middle of a movie. After working with several different agencies on several events, our crews have become known to law enforcement and regulatory personnel, gaining a clear understanding of how police will react should there ever be an incident that requires their response.
Taking part in the exercise were the King County Sheriff and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol; SWAT teams from King County, City of Seattle, FBI, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and Seattle Fire medics.