Public Safety leaders prepare for F1 - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Public Safety leaders prepare for F1

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Austin's Emergency Operation Center will be up and running before and during the F1 race next week.

With 300,000 people expected over the multi-day festivities, all hands are on deck to welcome and protect tourists and residents.

The Combined Transportation Emergency and Communications Center or CTECC is activated anytime there is a city wide emergency like an ice storm.

Come next Wednesday morning, CTECC will activate, this time for F1.

More than six 747 cargo jets carrying 200,000 pounds of equipment each arrive at ABIA, flying straight from the last Formula one race site in Abu Dhabi. That's half the cargo that flies in and out of ABIA the entire day.

"I'm ready and I think our folks are ready," said APD Chief Art Acevedo.

Ready and good to go, according to city and county leaders, public safety, the Circuit of the Americas, and Capital Metro. Prepared just like an emergency.

"This will be the nerve center of that Public Safety Center. I will be activating the Operation Center to serve as the area command 24/7 basis through Monday evening after the race," said Marc Ott.

Extra law enforcement including FBI, DEA, ATF, Military and Secret Service in uniform and undercover will be throughout the city and county.

The Circuit of the Americas President says half the tickets purchased are from outside the U.S. That's why being tourist friendly is the goal.

"We've been reminding our folks to remember and capture the feeling you have when you're in a foreign country or a strange city that you always look for that uniform whether its police, fire, or EMS, when you look for help, that feeling you get when someone takes the time to go the extra mile," said Acevedo.

311 operators also received training from COTA. They are expecting two to three times the normal volume of 4,000 calls a day. Extra call takers are working, some will be on call, and perhaps even take calls from home. The language company the city contracts with was told they will be busy.

Cap Metro bus routes will be adjusted to run every 15 minutes to the airport. Metro Rail will run until midnight, and for the first time, it will run on Sundays. Dillos are making a temporary come back in and around downtown next week. There's even an app for smartphones to buy bus tickets.

Emergency vehicles will be staged inside the race track and within Elroy. One spot is a nearby elementary school. Authorities say this way, all the traffic won't affect response time too much. They also want to reassure residents that their services will be the same just as if F1 wasn't going on.

Three day tickets to F1 are sold out but there are still 1,000 tickets available.

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