For passengers on New Jersey Transit, these scenarios are unthinkable, but as recent tragedies have shown, the unthinkable can sometimes become the inevitable.
And that's why the New Jersey Transit Police conducted an emergency response drill Saturday morning in Atlantic City.
Captain Edward Iandoli of the New Jersey Transit Police said, "We ran a drill today out of our Atlantic City rail terminal to measure our capabilities with a mass-casualty incident on board a train."
The Transit Police worked together with state and local partners for the drills. Iandoli added, "Today's participation was the Atlantic City Police department, the Atlantic City fire department, EMS Atlantic County, OEM Atlantic City, and the Atlantic City OEM."
The officers were given specific scenarios to combat. Captain Iandoli explained, "One of the situations around the world today is the suicide bomber, so that was one of the scenarios we run the officers through."
The police officers were able to do a mass casualty incident where 34 actors boarded a train and posed as victims. Transit riders who witnessed the day's events said it was a very valuable program for police officers.
"I think awareness of all situations, having to do with hostages or even intruders, like burglaries, there should be awareness. There should be awareness programs implemented. So I think it could be the start of something very good."
Officials say that if a real-life hostage situation were to ever occur on an Atlantic City train, the New Jersey Transit Police and then the Atlantic City Police would be the first to respond - and that drills like this one give great experience for a crisis.
"I think it gives them a real-world situation to better prepare and to see what would actually happen if something like this was to occur," said captain Iandoli.
Transit Police are required to do these drills once a year by the Federal Rail Association, but the Transit Police say they do them more than once a year, just to be prepared for the worst.
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