Super Bowl technology in place for Mini Marathon security

A map animation used during the Super Bowl will help keep watch over the Mini Marathon.
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The same technology that helped keep Super Bowl XLVI safe will be part of safety plan during next month's Mini Marathon.

Homeland Security will have their eyes not only on the finish line, but everywhere, to make the Mini super safe. Animation used during the Super Bowl in Indianapolis will help achieve that goal.

The technology not only maps out the city in 3-D for crowd control training, but also uses dozens of cameras to give Homeland Security workers eyes everywhere.

"They are going to get a bigger view, a 10,000-foot view of everything going on, not only downtown, but the entire Mini course and throughout the city," said Homeland Security Director Gary Coons.

While the same high-tech system records street-level activities, giving police the quick reaction necessary, central Indiana first responders are going through the same bomb response and preparedness training held in Boston earlier this year.

Indianapolis Paramedic Travis Stoffel is one of 29 students learning what to do first on the scene of a disaster. Stoffel works big events in the metro area all the time and knows anything could happen. He learned about the Boston bombing while on duty Monday afternoon.

"It was just our reminder that any run we go on, it could be a disaster, something unexpected," said Stoffel.

First responders are taught after being first on the scene, they should look for more danger, because that danger may not be over.

Emergency training expert John Rinard travels the country teaching first responders to be ready for the worst. He is currently conducting bomb preparedness and response training in the Brownsburg Fire Territory Training Center.

They focus first responder training on several topics, including identification of potential terrorist threats and targets, explosives and characteristics, pre-attack indicators of a bombing incident, post-detonation response, triage, and scene safety and security, along with integrating exercises.

Rinard takes a real-life disaster incident as a class exercise. He taught the very same class in Boston and believes first responders there went through the training. He is not surprised that eyewitnesses reported hearing multiple explosions.

"We try to impress upon our students that if there is one bomb, there will be another and they have to maintain a level of awareness to protect themselves against that," said Rinard.

The training in Brownsburg is made possible through a grant to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and FEMA. Brownsburg Fire Chief William Brown allows the training to take place at his facility free of charge.

"This training is vital to the safety of every community and I think it's important for every first responder to learn what to do in dire emergencies like the one in Boston. It's not a matter of if, but when the next disaster happens," Brown said.

The bomb readiness training goes hand-in-hand with the tech used by Homeland Security. Since the Mini Marathon draws huge crowds, officials will plan for the worst with confidence that this will be the best Mini yet.

"We always plan safe for big events, it's just what we do. While we are aware of the potential of danger, there are no threats to the Indianapolis event. But we will be prepared for emergencies," Coons said.

The Mini Marathon will start and finish at Military Park downtown with tens of thousands of runners, walkers, supporters and volunteers.