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Chicago Fire Department has plan in place to keep DNC at United Center, surrounding area safe

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Fire Department officials are meeting with local hospitals to devise a plan to make available the best possible emergency medical services at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago next month.

The department has now confirmed they will be providing emergency medical support both inside the secure perimeter that will be going up around the United Center in August for the DNC, and inside the stadium as well.

Sources told the CBS News Chicago Investigators the CFD also will be bringing in its fleet of extra ambulances called surge ambulances. Those will be stationed near the United Center and providing aid wherever else they will be needed.

The CFD also is sending a team to Milwaukee next week for the Republican National Convention, to see if they can learn anything from whatever happens there. The team will analyze EMS services at the RNC, and get an understanding on what possible challenges they could be facing back here at the DNC.

CBS News Chicago has learned there has been a variety of training for the CFD in the works for handling incidents involving evacuation management, weapons of mass destruction, civil unrest and rioting, radiation detection, active shooters, hazmat situations, and even how to provide medical care for law enforcement dogs.

The CFD also is working with two of the hospitals closest to the United Center—Rush University Medical Center, where there is a sophisticated decontamination area—and Stroger Hospital of Cook County, since it also is a level one trauma center.

Fire Department sources said they also sent members to a symposium for active response training in New York City.

They are also preparing paramedics with updated computerized maps and routes for street closures around the United Center so they can get to hospitals as fast as possible.

A Chicago Fire Department spokesman said the CFD will be providing paramedics with updated computerized maps and routes for street closures around the United Center in the case of protesters.

Meanwhile, CFD union officials argue morale at the Fire Department is at an all-time low, and its members are also planning to protest outside the United Center for their lack of a new union contract.

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