Simulation technology helps security prepare for Flying Pig Marathon, its 36,000 participants

CINCINNATI -- The Flying Pig Marathon festivities kicked off Friday, and an increase in registration means security measures are tight with the help of technology.

Registration for the 16th annual race is up 4 percent from 2013, with some 36,000 participants ready to lace up their running shoes. More than 150,000 people are expected to cheer along the 26.2 miles of course.

Organizers ask anyone who attends the marathon and its events to leave backpacks and other enclosed bags at home. Instead, belongings can be stored in a clear plastic bag, which will be provided at no charge to anyone who needs one.

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Various local and federal agencies are using new technology for 2014, which helps ensure first responders are ready if needed. Medical professionals have changed the way they train for disasters since the tragedy on April 15, 2013 in Boston.

"We can simulate getting multiple patients, we can simulate multiple scenarios at the same time," Robbie Meek, director of the Simulation Center at UC Health said. "We can have up to 14 patients here all needing attention where the teams can come in and take care of them."

Within the Simulation Center, a 4,000 square foot facility, are 12 patient simulators. They're designed to mimic the actions and conditions of critically injured patients.

"What the simulation center gives us is we can practice like we play, finally that advantage of saying, we don't have to wait until that big event happens, to test our systems," Meek said.

Runners and spectators should beware of traffic, as several streets on the race route will be closed. Go online to see WCPO's complete list of streets to avoid .

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