DENVER (CBS4)– People in the Denver metro area saw more ambulances, police cruisers and fire engines on Wednesday as more than 20 agencies and hospitals participated in a large-scale disaster drill held at the Denver International Airport.

The exercise was to test emergency response for the National Disaster Medical System.

Crews simulated training and transporting more than 150 volunteers to eight hospitals across the Denver metro area using ambulances and helicopters.

“Our disaster is a tornado in southern Wyoming, and their two hospitals have been pretty much destroyed, and their casualties are being sent to Denver,” an emergency responder said.

The drill was coordinated at the federal level but it was similar to other drills previously conducted.

The volunteers were actors and the exercise included child actors to test pediatric emergency response.

“(It’s) the first year that we’ve included children, we have not practiced that before, so we felt it was very important that we bring some children in,” Incident Commander Peggy Kearns said.

The agency that organized the drill is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

The training caused a little commotion around DIA on Wednesday morning. It was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. but had been delayed slightly because of foggy conditions. The helicopter was finally able to take off about 10:30 a.m.


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