By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Hundreds of emergency responders participated in a disaster training drill at BWI on Saturday to evaluate their services.

As part of an FAA requirement, the BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport Fire Department works with local jurisdictions to prepare for large scale emergencies.

Preparing for the worst case scenario.

“We have simulated a few fires, a few victims inside that were trapped,” said BWI Fire Department Chief Victor Ferreira.

Disasters can happen at anytime, so emergency responders need to have a plan to operate efficiently in a stressful environment.

“You need to be ready anytime, and the only way to improve our response is to have these types of exercises so we can evaluate have an after action report to improve services,” said Ferreira.

This drill creates a realistic airport disaster scene, with volunteers acting as victims to help first responders learn the best practices while working with multiple resources towards a common goal.

“First responders are critical to the public safety of Marylanders and those traveling through,” said Pete Rahn, Maryland Secretary of Transportation.

200 emergency responders from five surrounding jurisdictions trained with crews at BWI, gaining life-saving experience vital to their rescue efforts.

“They deal with some gruesome situations that I think most of us would never want to see, so I have huge respect for first responders,” Rahn said.

These large scale emergency trainings occur every three years, and take at least a year to coordinate.

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