Here’s the scenario: Terrorists take over a ship. They take hostages – with unknown casualties. There’s a fire on the ship and the possibility of a bomb on board. Negotiations break down. A SWAT team attempts to rescue the hostages and a bomb squad has to defuse an explosive device. It’s all part of the exercise known as Golden Guardian, which brings federal, state and local authorities together to train for real emergencies. Nick Concolino helped run the drill at the Port of West Sacramento.
Concolino: “Communication is probably the biggest bugaboo for everyone in these kinds of events because we have multiple jurisdictions here. They all have different radio frequencies.”
The drill didn’t always go smoothly. It ran late, and emergency response personnel often paused to figure out what the script called for them to do next.
Other ports throughout California faced similar drills at the same time.