There's never been an exercise of this scale in Texas, like Urban Shield. The training exercise/test for emergency responders is taking place in several locations across the region, this weekend.
One of the locations is the Travis County Expo Center. There, emergency responders face a scenario where an explosion has gone off inside side the building, causing life-threatening injuries and hundreds to evacuate.
Those evacuees are volunteers taking part in the exercise. There's about 300 volunteers, along with hundreds more emergency responders from several agencies throughout central Texas. The idea is to run the exercise and make it as real as possible, to figure out where the problems are and get the kinks worked out, so that if there ever is a terrorist attack, emergency responders will be able to react as efficiently as possible and save lives.
"You never know when an event might happen and planning is the best solution looking forward," said John Gibbs, TEXSAR spokesman.
The volunteers will have donated more than 30,000 hours of combined time by the end of the 40-hour training session.