COLLEGE STATION – More than 1,100 emergency responders in the Minneapolis metropolitan area are better prepared for the upcoming Super Bowl LII thanks, in part, to training they received from the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).
Over the past three years, TEEX training for Minneapolis-area emergency personnel has focused on critical infrastructure protection, threat and risk assessment, sports and special events risk management, incident management, disaster response, cyber incident preparedness, response to hazmat/WMD incidents, and protective measures for biological incidents. In the lead-up to this year’s Super Bowl, more than 40 specialized courses were delivered by TEEX’s National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center® (NERRTC) as part of the Homeland Security National Training Program.
On Feb. 4, more than 66,000 fans will descend on the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for the NFL’s pinnacle event, where the New England Patriots will face the Philadelphia Eagles. Up to 1 million people are expected to visit the fan festival, Super Bowl LIVE, and the NFL Experience. Law enforcement officers from 40 jurisdictions will be on duty during the event, which is categorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Level One Special Event Assessment Rating, meaning it has the highest threat level to public safety. It also qualifies the city for federal resources.
“We delivered emergency preparedness and response training to emergency personnel and officials in the Minneapolis area in cooperation with the other members of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium® and with our partners at the University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security,” said Jesse Watkins, Director of Operations for NERRTC. “This training is DHS/FEMA-funded and offered nationwide at no cost to the individual participants.”
TEEX is already working with city officials and emergency managers in Atlanta, the site of Super Bowl LIII, and has begun offering training to emergency personnel in the area. They are also meeting with officials in Miami, the site of Super Bowl LIV in 2020.
The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is an internationally recognized leader in the delivery of emergency response, homeland security and workforce training, exercises, technical assistance, and economic development. A member of The Texas A&M University System, TEEX served more than 173,000 people from across the United States and 75 countries last year through hands-on training and technical services.
U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN.
Hennepin County Emergency Management Director Eric Waage speaks to public works professionals attending a TEEX Disaster Management class in Golden Valley, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis. (Courtesy of Mark Ray)