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Boston bomb response watched closely by local emergency crews

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–How prepared are local emergency crews for disastrous events like Monday’s recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon?

Richmond just hosted a big running event over the weekend: the Monument Avenue 10k. And with NASCAR is on the docket for this weekend, Monday night police and emergency responders say, as a region, we are ready.

The Boston blasts may have only been felt for a few blocks, but their after-effect is more far-reaching than that.  First responders herein Richmond were watching the events in disbelief.

Many were processing the images playing out in Boston, remembering the running event that was such a huge success over the weekend.

“The Monument Avenue 10k is a huge event in the city,” said Richmond Police Maj. Steve Drew.  “It draws a lot of people to one concentrated area and people have a great time.”

“The key is planning and we start months before, meticulously going over crisis plans to help us with our response if we are needed,” said Drew.

On a day where more than a hundred were injured and several have died, the focus quickly shifted to how Richmond will prepare for a major sporting event this weekend.

When NASCAR rolls into town, hundreds of thousands will fill the grandstands.  And while that event will be in the hands of Henrico County EMT’s, at the Richmond Ambulance Authority the know if asked, they’re ready for all hands on deck.

“We have robust mutual aid agreements with localities in this area,” said Rob Lawrence, the chief operating officer at the RAA.  “Help is there if needed.”

Lawrence also served as an incident commander in 2005 on the outskirts of the  London subway bombings.

Richmond police tell us after every big event they evaluate what works and what doesn’t, and make adjustments as necessary.

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