Eyes in the sky at Village
High above the America’s Cup Village, every ferry arrival, change in the weather and marine movement is being closely monitored by a team of eagle-eyed experts.
More than 20 representatives from emergency services, private security firms, government departments and the event itself sit shoulder-to-shoulder in front of five CCTV monitors.
The Joint Agency Co-ordinating Centre is the culmination of months of planning that means those in the command centre can respond quickly and efficiently to everything from a maritime disaster to a cruise ship inferno.
Establishing the JACC has also provided unique experience and training to numerous Bermudians that will prepare them for future international events, according to Inspector Steve Cosham, the island’s national disaster co-ordinator.
“We have never had anything like this in Bermuda so we looked to the UK to understand how they set up for big events,” Inspector Cosham said.
“In January representatives from the UK’s National Police Co-ordination Centre came to Bermuda and delivered training over four days to 68 people from across all the agencies involved in the America’s Cup.
“On April 1 we held Exercise Joint Venture where we looked at how we would deal with a range of scenarios from oil spills to firearms incidents to mass casualty marine incidents.
The JACC facility opened on May 22, just a few days before the America’s Cup kicked off, and went live on May 25, the day before the opening ceremony.
Every day a series of briefings takes place to ensure that every agency involved in the huge security operation required for the sailing spectacle is fully informed of the day’s activities.
“Having representatives from each agency in one room ensures no duplication, no gaps and good communication,” Inspector Cosham said.
“It’s a great springboard for us and the way we could deal with other events in the future.
“We have done well so far, we are still getting a few people trying to bring crash helmets into the village, but if that is the biggest issue that’s good news.
“Someone did try to bring in a drone, but apart from that there have been no surprises.”
JACC’s work has impressed Senator Jeff Baron, the Minister of National Security.
“The impressive part is seeing them work so effectively together,” Mr Baron said. “I have been hugely impressed.”
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