Bay Ridge

Fort training exercise pits first responders against ‘gunmen’

April 24, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
NYPD officers carrying replicas of M16 automatic weapons response to a call during the first full scale active shooter exercise at Fort Hamilton. U.S. Army photos by Kevin Abel
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In a realistic drill designed to test their agility, New York City’s first responders invaded the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton to deal with a fake scenario involving two “gunmen” who “shot” six people and took hostages at the military post.

Cops, firefighters and emergency workers all played their roles in the drill, which took place on April 15, U.S. Army officials said.

Other participants played the roles of victims who had been shot.

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In the fake, but realistic-looking situation, five people were “killed” and 11 were “injured,” including two people who were seriously hurt.

The exercise began at approximately 9 a.m., when two male shooters entered the Armed Forces Reserve Center located on the grounds of the fort and opened fire, killing and injuring numerous people. The action then moved to the fort’s gymnasium, where one of the fake gunmen took a hostage and threatened to detonate a bomb.

The “hostage” was eventually released and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. One of the gunmen was killed and the other shooter was taken into police custody.

The exercise marked the first full scale practice Fort Hamilton conducted with first responders to test their ability to respond to an active shooter incident.

The exercise lasted approximately five hours. While it was going on, the entire fort was involved. The military installation was in lockdown during the drill.

Fort Hamilton, New York City’s only active military post, is located on the waterfront in Bay Ridge. The historic military installation was built in 1825. In recent years, the fort has played a key role in the response to disasters like the Sept. 11 attacks and Superstorm Sandy. During both of those emergencies, the fort served as a staging area for relief workers and supplies.


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