AAPA Seaports Advisory

Emergency Preparedness: Canaveral

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Port Canaveral Hosts Interagency Public Safety Training Exercise

Port Canaveral’s Cruise Terminal 5 was the staging point earlier this month for a full-scale training exercise designed to test emergency response and recovery plans. The Canaveral Port Authority, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and Canaveral Fire Rescue sponsored the exercise to assess public safety response capabilities and future training requirements.

The hypothetical scenario involved an active shooter near the terminal’s security checkpoint. The June 13 exercise took place over a nearly five-hour period and involved more than 400 participants from across the United States taking part in various roles.  

The exercise incident and response scenario was designed by Port Canaveral safety and security officials, in cooperation with multiple law enforcement and first responder agencies and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The primary objective of the exercise was to assess plans, procedures, and resources required at the local, regional, state and federal agency levels to respond to an incident at Port Canaveral.

The exercise was supported by multiple federal, state, and local interagency and industry partners, including DHS, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Brevard County Emergency Management, and Brevard County Fire and Rescue.

"Today’s exercise is the result of 18-months of planning and preparation," said Port CEO Captain John Murray. "The safety and security of our port is not happenstance. It takes a tremendous amount of training and teamwork among and between all the professionals dedicated to the safety of our facilities, employees, partners and guests, as well as our surrounding community."

Cruise Terminal 5 was the focus last year of a $48 million upgrade, including a pier extension to accommodate vessels of up to 3,500 passenger capacity. Carnival Cruise Line is the primary user.

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