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Emergency personnel to stage mock Inner Harbor water taxi rescue

Emergency personnel will converge on Inner Harbor waters near Canton on Wednesday as part of a staged water taxi disaster, an event geared toward assessing rescue capabilities and practicing response techniques.

Between 8 a.m. and noon, first responders from various federal, state and local agencies will be rescuing flotation devices and "dummies" representing casualties or adrift taxi passengers in water near the 3200 block of Boston St., the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management said.

Divers will also be practicing "recovery operations" as part of the mock event.

"The purpose of this exercise is to provide participants with an opportunity to evaluate current response concepts, plans, and capabilities for responding to a major incident in the Inner Harbor," the mayor's emergency office said. "The exercise will focus on key local emergency responder coordination, critical decision making, and integration of the State and Federal assets necessary to save lives."

In addition to the emergency management office, participating agencies will include Baltimore Police, the Baltimore Fire Department, Baltimore Water Taxi, Maryland Natural Resources Police, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Naval Reserve.

krector@baltsun.com

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