Local police, fire, and other public safety agencies will conduct training exercises around Hemisfair in downtown San Antonio during the next few weeks, according to officials.

The exercises, which started Sunday, will take place at night sporadically until early November, San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) spokesman Joe Arrington said. It’s part of a joint training effort with the San Antonio Police Department, local school district police, hospitals, and other groups to better prepare for emergencies.

“We don’t want folks to worry … when they see [roughly a dozen fire and police vehicles] at the park,” Arrington said. “There’s no danger.”

SAFD is also asking the media and members of the public to refrain from taking photos or shooting videos of the training.

“There’s a possibility that [bad] people can see our strategies and tactics,” he said. “We don’t want to give [them] any kind of upper hand.”

The training is aimed at keeping local public safety agencies up-to-date on the latest Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) program developed by the National Fire Prevention Association.

“We do a ton of this kind of training so that if and when [something like that], unfortunately, goes down, we’ll be ready,” Arrington said, adding that police officers, paramedics, and firefighters all need to be on the same page during an emergency.

Previously, similar training sessions have taken place at the Freeman Coliseum, an abandoned school, and other areas, Arrington said, but the buildings in Hemisfair offer enough space for these agencies to collaborate for these larger-scale exercises.

Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and workforce development. Contact her at iris@sareport.org