NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - On Thursday night, dozens of police officers and firefighters rushed into Tweed Airport in New Haven.

But, no one was in any danger.

Emergency responders were training on how to handle a potential life mass casualty situation.

Emergency responders know they need to be at their absolute best during a potential mass casualty situation in order to save as many lives as possible.

They say the only way to do that is to practice enough to be ready for anything.

There were no real gunshots or a real gunman, but this is a really important exercise.

“You hear the gun go and the flash and 10:13. Then you put yourself in the position of what if you were in this environment. It's very scary,” said Tim Larson, New Haven Airport Authority.

“One of the things that's getting done here is for us to practice the way we're actually going to play,” said Chief John Alston, New Haven Fire Department.

A large cadre of local, state, and federal emergency responders teamed up to for a large scale mass casualty drill at Tweed Airport in New Haven.

“Being trained and being prepared is what saves lives and what allows us to do our job,” said Lt. Jason Rentkowicz, New Haven Police Department.

“You have to practice for the real thing real life scenarios and

the more you do that the more comfortable you are with it,” said William Tsontos, TSA Security Director.

Investigators practiced neutralizing the shooter, evacuating the airport, and getting victims the medical attention they need.

But, the biggest challenge is teaching all of the agencies to work together seamlessly.

“We do work together to establish that unified command where we are able to communicate with each other feed off each other and work with each other to make those decisions and complete the mission,” said Rentkowicz.

By the end of the drill, all of the emergency responders seemed to be as synchronized as a thousand dollar watch.

“In this day and age you can never prepare enough for this type of thing,” said Larson.

Larson says the top notch teamwork in action makes him feel secure telling travelers that the airport and other public buildings are as safe as possible.

“They know that we're skilled we're drilled and we're ready as can be,” Larson said.

Now, all of the agencies will study exactly what happened during the drill and try to figure out ways to improve their response.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Digital Content Producer

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