Authorities stage disaster drills near Sylvester cancer center

Training exercise includes actors playing victims, blank rounds

MIAMI – With scores of police officers, firefighters and even actors playing the roles of disaster victims, the University of Miami Health System staged a full-scale emergency response training exercise Sunday at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The goal was to create a drill that seems as lifelike as possible. Officials said blank rounds could be fired as part of the exercise.

“We’re trying to make sure that everything that takes place today is an actual situation where things could happen,” said Kenia Fallat, a spokeswoman for the Miami Police Department. “There are a number of scenarios, things that I can’t get into unfortunately, but there’s a number of scenarios that appear to be real life.”

Authorities shut down Northwest 14th Street between 11th and 12th avenues for several hours for the exercise. Authorities cautioned the public not to be alarmed by the police activity in the area, stressing that this was only a drill. The exercise wrapped up around 1:30 p.m.