The above film clip is not a “behind the scenes” of the latest Dawn of the Dead straight-to-DVD ripoff. It is the actual footage of a first responder seminar in San Diego, Calif. The Department of Homeland Security deemed the event an allowable expense, enabling participants to use federal grant funding to pay to go.
That’s according to “Safety at Any Price: Assessing the Impact of Homeland Security Spending in U.S. Cities” a report compiled by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who chairs the investigations subcommittee of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. The report focuses on grants made by the DHS and the Urban Areas Security Initiative. Coburn says the report shows that DHS was “directing scarce dollars to low-priority project and low-risk areas.” (Read the complete report in the embedded viewer below this story.)
Coburn found that, among other things, DHS was spending money on teaching first responders how to stop flesh-eating ghouls. The report said the event was held by the HALO Corp. “at the Paradise Point Resort & Spa on an island outside San Diego 9 (and) the 5-day summit was deemed an allowable expense by DHS, permitting first responders to use grant funds for the $1,000 entrance fee.”
Coburn’s report explained further:
The marquee event over the [San Diego] summit, however, was its highly-promoted “zombie apocalypse” demonstration. Strategic Operations, a tactical training firm, was hired to put on a “zombie-driven show” designed to simulate a real-life terrorism event. The firm performed two shows on Halloween, which featured 40 actors dressed as zombies getting gunned down by a military tactical unit. Conference attendees were invited to watch the shows as part of their education in emergency response training. Barker explained that, “the idea is to challenge authorities as they respond to extreme medical situations where people become crazed and violent, creating widespread fear and disorder.”
According to the firm’s public relations manager, the exercise was brought about “utilizing Hollywood magic,” and setup in a “parking lot-sized movie set [with] state-of-the-art structures, pyrotechnic battlefield effects, medical special effects, vehicles and blank-firing weapons.” [HALO President Brad] Barker added, however, “This is a very real exercise, this is not some type of big costume party.” (Emphasis added.)
That’s a good thing because a zombie apocalypse is something that could totally happen. And the training is necessary too because it is not like there is any film or television show you could watch to give you clues on what to do when the zombies do attack.
You can read Coburn’s full report here.
UPDATE: The Washington Examiner‘s Mark Flatten has a report on Coburn’s study here.