MILWAUKEE -- The Coast Guard and more than 20 federal, state and local agencies will conduct a full-scale, mass rescue and recovery exercise at multiple locations near the Milwaukee waterfront and on Lake Michigan Thursday, March 2nd.
Events will take place at different locations, including McKinley Marina, General Mitchell Airport and in the city of Cudahy, and members of the media are invited to witness the exercise.
The joint exercise scenario involves an airplane crash into Lake Michigan about 5 miles offshore. The crash site will be simulated by the Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay anchored off shore from McKinley Marina. The exercise is designed to test coordinated emergency response efforts and provides the participating agencies the opportunity to evaluate the coordination between multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional response plans for mass rescue operations in a cold weather and ice rescue environment.
The simulated rescues will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, Michigan, conducting simulated medical evacuations. Coast Guard cold water rescue teams, utilizing Port of Milwaukee tugs, will be the next on scene followed closely by rescue teams from the Wisconsin Department Natural Resources, Milwaukee Police Department, and the rescue dive team from the Milwaukee Fire Department.
In a separate exercise simulation, ice fishermen will need to be rescued from the city of Cudahy on the shores of Lake Michigan. The Cudahy Fire Department and St. Francis Fire Department will work alongside Coast Guard teams to locate, treat and transport these additional patients to area hospitals.