MIAMI — First responders held a “highly visible” maritime drill on Saturday morning replete with helicopters, fire boats and people repelling onto a container ship.

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Special Operations Division and Hazardous material teams conducted its civil-military maritime hazardous materials drill at the Port Miami.

“The objective of this drill is to exercise the civil military interface that will occur on large-scale maritime hazmat incident; such as the arrival of a large container ship that is leaking hazardous materials into the bay,” according to Erika Benitez of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

This drill was a joint effort from between Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami-Dade Police Department, the US Army and other private entities.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) is charged with maintaining full-time countywide response capabilities for the control of hazardous material (Hazmat) and toxic substance releases. This mission is spearheaded by the MDFR Hazardous Materials Response Team (HMRT) and Hazardous Materials Bureau (HMB).

The HMRT is comprised of a Hazmat Battalion Chief, a Hazmat Specialty unit, four Hazmat Suppression units, and a Hazmat Medical unit. These units are equipped with specialized protective clothing, chemical detection equipment, sampling devices, containment tools, materials identification computer systems, state-of-the-art communications / meteorological equipment and specialized medication/antidotes.

Additionally, the MDFR Hazardous Materials Bureau provides administrative and operational support through hazardous materials response training, community planning and resource management.

Photo courtesy of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue

FULL NEWS ARTICLE: http://patch.com/florida/miami/first-responders-stage-highly-visual-maritime-response-drill