TCC Hosts Regional First Responders for Tornado Simulation, SWAT Exercises

Friday, Nov. 11 – Sunday, Nov. 13
Friday, Nov. 11 – Saturday, Nov. 12
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Northwest Campus, 4801 Marine Creek Parkway
FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 4, 2016) – First responders from across the region will converge at Tarrant County College’s Northwest Campus Nov. 11-13 for a large-scale disaster drill. Big X 2016 will simulate emergencies including the aftermath of a tornado and special weapons and tactics (SWAT) situations, allowing emergency personnel to test their preparedness. TCC will host Urban Search and Rescue, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and SWAT portions of the exercise.
Big X 2016 is a 16-county training event sponsored by the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Police, firefighters, public health officials, hospitals and emergency managers are among those taking part; volunteers will play victims. A total of 3,500 individuals will participate in activities across 40 regional sites, including Northwest Campus—home to TCC’s Fire Service Training Center and Criminal Justice Training Center.
Most of the tornado exercise—including Urban Search and Rescue as well as CERT personnel—will take place in the Fire Service Training Center’s simulated city, which has streets, residence and business mockups, an apartment complex/hotel facility and high-rise buildings. Additional training will take place around the campus’s lake. The SWAT training will occur in the Criminal Justice Training Center; participants will test preparedness for a barricaded suspect.
“Our programs and facilities are designed to give students hands-on, authentic experiences that make them well prepared to protect our communities,” said Elva LeBlanc, Ph.D., president of Northwest Campus. “We are proud to make those training features available to our partners throughout the region to help ensure our first responders can practice their skills and work together collaboratively.”
The TCC viewing schedule includes:
Friday, Nov. 11
Urban Search and Rescue (tornado exercise): 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 12
SWAT exercise (barricaded suspect): 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
CERT (tornado exercise): 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Urban Search and Rescue (tornado exercise): 2 to 3 p.m.
Big X is held every three years, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
TCC is one of the area’s primary emergency response trainers. The Criminal Justice Training Center and Fire Service Training Center offer academies for new cadets as well as professional development for current professionals. For more information on their programs, visit the Criminal Justice Training Center and Fire Service Training Center webpages.