Niagara Gazette

September 16, 2013

Police exercise to shut down Rainbow Bridge for several hours Tuesday

Staff Reports
Niagara Gazette

The Rainbow Bridge will be closed for several hours Tuesday morning as first responders and border officials take part in an international emergency preparedness exercise.

All border traffic will be rerouted to the Peace Bridge, Queenston-Lewiston Bridge and the Whirlpool Bridge, which is only for NEXUS card holders.

The exercise will be done in real time, using role players as actors, according to the Niagara Regional Police. Emergency response procedures will be adhered to as if the exercise were a real event.

NRP spokesman Const. Derek Watson would not publicize the exact time of the exercise, or the scenario, saying it’s meant to be a surprise for the people working that day.

“They’re going to be put in a certain situation to see how they handle it and to see how the different agencies work together,” he said. “They don’t know exactly when or what.”

Ten agencies will be involved in the training, including NRP, Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, Niagara Falls New York Police Department, Canada Border Services Agency, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Erie County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad, Niagara Region Emergency Medical Services, Niagara Falls Canada Fire Department and Niagara Falls U.S. Fire Department.