First responders conduct mass casualty training at Busch Gardens is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

(Courtesy JCCPD)
(Courtesy JCCPD)

Visitors passing by Busch Gardens Wednesday morning would have had cause for alarm. Starting at 8 a.m., teams of local, state and federal first responders conducted critical incident training exercises inside the park.

According to a press release from James City County, the participating agencies included: James City County Police, Fire and EMS, York Poquoson Sheriff’s Office, York Fire and EMS, Virginia State Police, VDEM, FBI, Busch Gardens and other local, state and federal units.

While the exercise was not planned as a response to any current threat or specific security concerns, its goal was to simulate a mass casualty event in a public venue, the release stated.

“The purpose of the exercise was to challenge and evaluate the effectiveness of federal, state, local and private security planning,” JCCPD spokeswoman Stephanie Williams wrote in the release. “Exercises like these afford us the opportunity to evaluate and improve training practices and procedures.”