U.S. Border Patrol in Maine Hosts Tabletop Emergency Preparedness Exercise
Emphasizes Effective Collaboration between Local Law Enforcement, Emergency Responders and Stakeholders
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Earlier today, several local, state and federal law enforcement and emergency response agencies, along with international partners from Canada, participated in an emergency preparedness “tabletop exercise.”
U.S. Border Patrol, Houlton Sector organized and facilitated the exercise at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
“Training and problem-solving with our law enforcement and emergency response partners in a controlled environment is crucial to our shared mission of public safety and security,” said Daniel Hiebert, Chief Patrol Agent, Houlton Sector. “We want all entities to be on the same page and confident in their roles and responsibilities if we are ever faced with a real-world, multi-agency, emergency response.”
Tabletop exercises test the collaborative ability of a group of law enforcement and emergency response agencies to respond effectively to a hypothetical emergency event. Whether the event is natural or manmade, fluidity of the response is the key.
Participants spent the morning in a facilitated discussion identifying actions and activities in response to a mock scenario involving a terrorist and mass-casualty event. Discussion surrounded law enforcement, and emergency medical and fire response, as well as communication internally with employees, and externally with impacted stakeholders and the local community.
The exercise incorporated a scenario with multiple injects to add complexity. Each agency provided feedback to their respective counterparts. At the conclusion, participants evaluated the data collected during the exercise.
Exercises play a vital role in national preparedness by providing the opportunity to test and validate plans and capabilities, and identify both capability gaps and areas for improvement.
This exercise is a component of the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program’s (HSEEP) Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan.
For more on Customs and Border Protection’s mission at our nation’s ports of entry with CBP officers and along U.S. borders with Border Patrol agents, please visit the Border Security section of the CBP website.