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Emergency responders hold training drill at Miami International Airport

Fuel spill, hazmat situation among drills included in training

MIAMI – Emergency responders from several organizations tested their skills Wednesday at Miami International Airport, making sure they're prepared in case an emergency strikes.

Emergency vehicles rushed down the tarmac at MIA as crews in full gear stood ready to respond.

The Miami-Dade first responders were honing their skills in a tri-annual full-scale emergency drill.

"Anything that's a low frequency, but an extremely high severity type of scenario, such as anything involving an airport ... makes it that much more important to train," Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Wesley Lebron said.

But there's a catch: The crews in the thick of the drill don't know what to expect and must respond exactly how they would in a real emergency situation.

"Basically by doing this drill, it provides a platform for training and familiarization for all responding agencies," Lebron said.

One scenario involved a fuel spill and a hazmat situation.

Volunteers played the parts of passengers with various types of simulated injuries, as responders worked to triage and get control of the scene.

The training carries even more of a significant meaning this time, coming just weeks after the attack at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

"The best way to learn is from other people's experiences, and as good as everybody thinks they might be, and as flawless as you would like to be, you're always going to have small issues," Lebron said.

In addition to first responders and members of the Red Cross taking part in the exercise, students from several local high schools helped out by acting as the passengers in the scenarios.


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