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First responders run through mock disasters to prep for NFL Draft

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jun 13, 2024

TITLETOWN (NBC 26) — Around 30 agencies from around northeast Wisconsin took a three-day training course about managing sports and special events, in preparation for the 2025 NFL Draft.

  • The group dealt with two worst-case scenarios: a natural disaster at a football and an explosion at a concert
  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency provided the free course
  • Green Bay Police expects around 400,000 people in town for the Draft, and the chief says the event will provide different challenges from a typical Packers game
  • Video shows the curriculum and organization of the training course

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Preparing for the worst. We're at the Resch Expo, where first responders are running through disaster scenarios in case of an emergency at the NFL Draft.

Law enforcement from around the region are finishing up three days of training about how to prevent and react to problems that could arise during big events.

"What happened?" a course instructor asked the students. "The public needs to know what happened. Number two, what are you doing about it? And number three, what can they do?"

The first responders divided into an incident command post, emergency ops center, and a policy team.

The agency providing the training gave two mock scenarios — a natural disaster at a football game, and an explosion at a concert.

"We say the disaster really doesn't matter whether it's manmade or natural," instructor James Burghard said. "How you evacuate your stadium, how you would manage crowd, and things like that, are the same, regardless of what the impact is."

Green Bay Police was one of about 30 agencies represented, and chief Chris Davis says hundreds of law enforcement and first responders will assist in crowd control and prep for the draft.

"When you bring 400,000 or more people together, they're always issues that come up," Davis said. "And this will just make us that much better and that much smoother in dealing with whatever happens."

The Packers say the NFL is taking the lead on Draft logistics.

"The NFL is putting together their plan for the campus," said Aaron Popkey, the team's director of public affairs. "What that looks like, where the gates are, ingress, egress, parking, all those types of things."

The Packers say we're still at least a few months away from the NFL announcing the layout or footprint of the Draft, but Ashwaubenon village officials have hinted to NBC 26 that the Draft stage may be somewhere here, at the corner of Oneida Street and and Lombardi Avenue.