With Marathon Monday quickly approaching, not only are tens of thousands of runners getting ready to compete in the 121st Boston Marathon, but the men and women who work tirelessly to try to keep the 26.2-mile course safe are hard at work, too.
"We have 7500 public safety personnel deployed next week, this is our opportunity to make sure that we’re ready to manage them and manage anything that comes our way," MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz said.
From drones at the start line in Hopkinton, to helicopters flying over the finish line to establish base line radiation levels, the emergency operations team from more than 70 agencies is trying to prepare for anything that could happen during the race.
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Schwartz says the scope and scale of the public safety operation is much larger than it was in 2013, when two bombs went off on Boylston Street, killing three and injuring more than 260 others.
"We had actually exercised a bombing at the marathon prior to 2013, so it’s something we thought about, but the types of scenarios we’re thinking about this year are just – the array is so much wider, we think about vehicles as weapons for obvious reasons, we think about all different types of attacks," Schwartz said.
Obviously they hope they never have to use the training exercises that they worked on today, but Schwartz says the emphasis is on preparation and prevention.