City warns locals that ’emergencies’ at Woodrow Wilson bridge next week are part of training exercise

Fire department training at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (image via City of Alexandria)

It’s likely that during the day on Sunday, someone in Old Town will see a commotion on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. There will be fire crews assembled and a person dangling off the side.

If you’re that person and a frantic “Woodrow Wilson Bridge emergency” Google search led you here: don’t panic, fire and rescue departments are planning a series of training challenges at the bridge.

From Sunday, May 6, through Thursday, May 9, twelve fire and rescue teams from Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and the U.S. Army will be participating in a series of “challenge events” around the region, including at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

According to a release:

Community members should be aware of these teams’ presence during the Rescue Challenge and their participation in scenarios that may resemble emergencies, including at Woodrow Wilson Bridge, visible from Jones Point Park. Twice each day during the Challenge, a dummy will be suspended from the bridge for teams to practice rescuing. This will not impact the flow of traffic.

Scenarios have been designed to challenge participants’ technical expertise and teamwork and expand their skills in hazardous environments. To accomplish this, rescue scenarios will be set in a wide variety of environments, including Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The Alexandria Fire Department is committed to preparing as well as possible to keep the community safe.