BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) –Several Birmingham city and Jefferson County officials are catching up on some sleep after an exciting week in Poland for the 2017 World Games.
The trip was part of Birmingham’s preparation to host the games in 2021. It was a busy week that’s leading into a busy four years full of planning and preparations to gear up for World Games 2021 in Birmingham.
Seeing the event made officials realize the work that they have ahead of them. A whole team of people from Jefferson County and Birmingham were in Poland observing everything from transportation, lodging, security and even emergency management.
Jim Coker with the Jefferson County EMA said they got to see a lot and learn even more.
“The key for the World Games here is just like the World Games there: good planning, good preparation and it is all about teamwork,” Coker explained.
Representatives from the EMA, police department and fire department were all there to see how they can keep athletes and fans safe when they come to the Magic City.
“Looking at their comprehensive strategy for providing security at the venues the hotels how they were keeping the citizens safe, the visitors the athletes,” Chief A.C. Roper with the Birmingham Police Department said.
With such a big job, they know they plan to reach out to other agencies and departments for help.
“We have these four years to prepare and so we are starting the planning right now,” Chief Roper explained.
For law enforcement involved, there will be additional training requirements.
“Just from the stand point of language obstacles and how will we interact with the different people from all over the world. Also, each venue has different requirements in regards to security and officer presence,” he explained.
The EMA is already planning on how to keep visitors safe in this Alabama weather. “Because this will be in late July and it can get very hot here and a lot of our Guest that come in may not be used to the heat,” Coker explained.
The EMA plans to have translators from UAB and other surrounding universities on standby in case they need to communicate with international visitors during an emergency.