ORISKANY – More than 100 first responders came together Wednesday for the 2019 Excelsior Challenge. The training took place at the Department of Homeland Security’s State Preparedness Training Center at 5900 Airport Rd. in Oriskany.
Bomb squads, explosive detection canine teams and tactical teams from around the state received hands-on training to help increase coordination amongst each other.
The challenge features eight scenarios, including an active shooter drill and the capture of a serial bomber in dark conditions.
Officials at the center say such realistic training is critical for first responders.
"It's extremely important because when it goes bad, a regular officer on the street is going to be calling for these gentlemen and ladies to come help them and it's extremely important that they are ready to go for just about anything they can face," said Assistant Director Bob Stallman.
The Excelsior Challenge has taken place annually at the center for the past five years.