COLLEGE STATION – As 80,000 fans travel to MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2, local transportation officials and responders in New Jersey and New York will be prepared for any emergency, thanks in part to training from TEEX, the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.
The 2014 Super Bowl has been dubbed the “Mass Transit” Super Bowl, and TEEX has trained emergency managers and responders from all the major mass transit lines leading to the MetLife Stadium in E. Rutherford, NJ. In addition, TEEX has assisted with on-site, emergency response exercises at rail stations in the area, as well as Newark Liberty International Airport, the George Washington Bridge, and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels.
Last year, NJ Transit called on TEEX for preparedness and emergency response training and exercises and for on-site planning support in preparation for the Super Bowl and other large-scale events. NJ Transit operates the Meadowlands rail station next to MetLife stadium. As first responders to an incident at a train station involving structural collapse, the NJ Transit Police Emergency Services Unit got the specialized training they would need to save lives. Twenty officers came to TEEX for training in advanced structural collapse rescue and passenger rail rescue.
In October, TEEX developed and facilitated a Super Bowl Transportation Communication Tabletop Exercise for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, which involved more than 50 people from multiple transportation agencies in New Jersey, as well as from MetLife Stadium, home of Super Bowl XLVIII, and SP Plus GAMEDAY. The exercise focused on communication, coordination and execution of Game Day transportation along with response to challenges or incidents, such as a severe snowstorm on Game Day, said Hank Lawson, who facilitated the exercise.
In addition, groups from New Jersey and New York received DHS/FEMA-funded training through TEEX that focused on incident management and risk assessment. Just last month, TEEX conducted a train-the-trainer course in the Incident Command System in Jersey City, NJ, for The Port Authority of NY and NJ, and many of the participants are involved in planning for the Super Bowl. Last fall, training in ICS was also conducted in Teterboro, NJ, and a Sports and Special Events Management course was offered in Manhattan, and included attendees from the New York City Office of Emergency Management and Parks and Recreation Department.
During 2013, TEEX also conducted eight classes in Threat and Risk Assessment in New Jersey and New York City, including four Enhanced Threat and Risk Assessment classes at the request of the New York City Office of Emergency Management.
TEEX’s expertise in homeland security, emergency management and response, incident command, and threat and risk assessment has helped to ensure the safety of thousands of fans turning out to cheer their team on to a Super Bowl victory.