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Released: 4/26/2010 

Federal Authorities Conduct Emergency Preparedness Drill at PATCO Station

If you notice a flurry of activity in the vicinity of PATCO’s now closed Franklin Square Station in Philadelphia this week, don’t be alarmed. It’s just a drill. More than 25 federal agencies and several local agencies including PATCO will converge in Philadelphia during the week of April 26 to take part in the Liberty Radiation Exercise Drill. 

Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Liberty Radiation Exercise is intended to test the protocol/procedures, capabilities, actions and responsibilities of local, state, and Federal leadership, response personnel, other government officials and other public and private stakeholders responding to a terrorist attack on a major U.S. city. The exercise will test the post-emergency phase activities such as radiation mitigation and clean up activities. 

“We are proud to host and participate in such a large-scale drill,” says DRPA CEO and PATCO President John J. Matheussen. “The use of PATCO’s Franklin Square Station provides drill participants with the unique opportunity to test procedures and response inside an actual subway system.” 

Over the course of the week, the drill will take place in several locations throughout Philadelphia including PATCO’s Franklin Square Station. Drill activities at Franklin Square Station will commence on Tuesday, April 27 and end on Thursday, April 29. PATCO service will not be affected. 

“The Liberty Radiation Exercise Drill will allow PATCO to test various parts of our emergency protocols such as communication with emergency responders, coordination of passenger safety procedures and our ability to facilitate the needs of emergency responders to a PATCO emergency,” says PATCO General Manager Bob Box. 

“The broad list of the players involved in this exercise provides PATCO with an opportunity to test procedures and plans with agencies not usually at our disposal,” says PATCO Assistant General Manager Cheryl Spicer. 

The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation and development agency. DRPA owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross bridges, PATCO, the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal and the RiverLink Ferry.

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