Plans for an emergency response at a big local event take place throughout the year, according to local officials who are closely watching the events after the Boston tragedy today.
The Santa Barbara Police Department says whether it’s a large scale community festival like Old Spanish Days, or a smaller event like a local marathon race, they are prepared for an emergency that could result in many injuries.
There are also mass casualty drills with other agencies including the Sheriff’s Department, Coast Guard, and school officials.
During Fiesta in 2007, police had to shoot and kill a man with a gun who was involved in a State St. brawl with a loaded weapon.
In a larger emergency, possibly involving terrorists, “we would render aid to the victims and evacuate innocent civilians. Then beyond that, address other issues,” said Sgt. Riley Harwood.
When high profile politicians or dignitaries come to town, “we have designated locations that are safe locations. Hospitals to go to. The planning is very detailed,” said Harwood. “We practice for those types of scenarios regularly.”