Emergency services practise for TTC attack
Richardson volunteered to be a victim of a subway terrorist hit — with baby powder substituting for radioactive material — when Toronto's emergency services gathered yesterday morning to practise their response to a strike on the financial district.
"If I put myself in the position of being a normal citizen, it was very frightening," said Richardson, a Humber College paramedic student, who simulated falling off the subway platform during an evacuation.
"I was carried back to the decontamination tent on a stretcher: that was an experience in itself, being carried back by four guys who looked like Martians."
Yesterday's $30,000 exercise involving 250 volunteers and emergency workers simulated a two-pronged attack against Toronto. Organized by Toronto police, along with the fire department, emergency medical services and the Toronto Transit Commission, it was an annual test of the capabilities of Toronto's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Team.
"We have to practise training together," said Greg Stasyna, a Toronto police emergency planning officer. "I'd like to see major exercises like this once every four to six months."
The fictional attack started at the St. Andrew subway station with a second attack at the Royal Trust Tower, at King St. W. and Bay St.