The Texas A&M University System News Release


COLLEGE STATION, Texas — More than 1,200 emergency responders from the Atlanta metropolitan area are better prepared to keep people safe during the upcoming Super Bowl thanks, in part, to training they received at Texas A&M University.
Texas A&M officials met with leaders from the Georgia Department of Emergency Management in 2017 to determine needs for security at the game. Later, instructors from Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service conducted 47 classes for Atlanta-area personnel involved in security or emergency response for the Super Bowl.
Areas of focus included:
  • Disaster response,
  • Active shooter incident management,
  • Cyber incident preparedness,
  • Response to hazmat/WMD incidents,
  • Response for biological incidents,
  • Threat and risk assessment,
  • And medical preparedness for bombing incidents.
The specialized courses were delivered by the Texas A&M agency’s National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center (NERRTC) as part of the Homeland Security National Training Program. The training was conducted in cooperation with other members of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) and with partners at the University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security.
“We have been preparing for this a solid two years,” Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said at a recent press conference. “I think that with anything, you can go in with a spirit of confidence if you have prepared, and we have prepared well.” She said the department has worked collaboratively with over 40 state, local and federal law enforcement agencies in planning for the event.
Jesse Watkins, director of operations for the Texas A&M System’s National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center, said working with Atlanta and surrounding jurisdictions in advance of the Super Bowl has given the National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center and the NDPC the unique opportunity to focus training in those areas that addressed specific needs associated with the event.
“Atlanta has been especially successful in that we had great multi-disciplinary representation from the area,” Watkins said.
On Feb. 3, more than 71,000 fans will descend on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for the NFL’s pinnacle event. Up to 1 million people are expected to visit the fan festival, Super Bowl Live, and the NFL Experience and other events surrounding the Super Bowl. The event is categorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Level One Special Event Assessment Rating (SEAR 1), meaning it has the highest threat level to public safety. This rating qualifies the city for federal resources, including the DHS/FEMA-funded training conducted by Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, a state agency under The Texas A&M University System.
Looking ahead, Texas A&M System officials met with Miami leaders last year to talk about the Super Bowl in 2020. Further, meetings with officials in Tampa Bay were held last week to begin discussions about providing training in preparation for the 2021 NFL event.
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.7 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 153,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $996 million in FY 2017 and helped drive the state’s economy.
Contact: Kathy Fraser
Director for Marketing and Communications
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
Contact: Tim Eaton
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
Office of Marketing & Communications
NOTE: Interviews can be arranged, and photos and video are available.

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