BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency trained for a potential bombing at the Boston Marathon one year prior to the April 15 attacks that killed three and injured hundreds more.
MEMA tells FOX 25 they had undergone drills at least twice before, with the most recent discussion happening during a training session in 2012.
Officials with MEMA say the 2012 training session involved a mock scenario in which a bombing occurred at the finish line beneath a spectator grand stand.
MEMA says ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, they've activated their emergency operations command center on Marathon Monday. They bring law enforcement, health officials, and representatives from the eight communities along the marathon route to their Framingham bunker to monitor the marathon in real-time. Officials say that same group had been part of the mock bombing exercise just last year.
MEMA says those emergency responders proved invaluable in creating communication lines between agencies and developing contingency plans for things like where to send all of the runners.
Peter Judge, a spokesman for MEMA, says the agency conducts exercises each year a few weeks before the marathon. They run through a number of scenarios that include everything from extreme weather events to a large fire along the route. Judge says last year's scenario involved a bomb at the finish line. He says that scenario had been used in training many years earlier.
The agency gets briefed by the FBI in the weeks leading up to the marathon each year in case there is any sort of threat. They emphasize that they did not have any specific intelligence indicating that the marathon would be targeted this year or in previous years.
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