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Crews Test Emergency Plan, Procedures With Drill At LaGuardia Airport

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — If you were traveling near LaGuardia Airport on Saturday, you may have noticed something that looked like smoke and a swarm of emergency vehicles.

But as CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes reported, it was all just a drill.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey conducted an exercise to better prepare the city’s emergency responders in case tragedy strikes.

“It was pretty realistic. It was scary,” said volunteer Megan Casey. “I was just like, thank God this isn’t real.”

Emergency exercise held at LaGuardia Airport on June 21, 2014 (Credit: CBS 2)

Emergency exercise held at LaGuardia Airport on June 21, 2014 (Credit: CBS 2)

Cell phone video rolled as the massive emergency response exercise simulated a plane crash and fire at the airport.

“Today we have 750 people attending this drill across EMS, city fire, police department,” explained LaGuardia’s general manager Lysa Scully. “Every aspect that is part of an emergency response is here today.”

More than 140 volunteers donned fake blood and injuries to give the exercise an added touch of reality.

Chris Caruso played the plane’s pilot with an unresponsive mental status.

“I got an amputated femur,” Caruso said.

Emergency exercise held at LaGuardia Airport on June 21, 2014 (Credit: CBS 2)

Emergency exercise held at LaGuardia Airport on June 21, 2014 (Credit: CBS 2)

First responders went inside the plane to rescue volunteers and mannequins.

“They put on these red strobes, put on a fog machine, everyone’s sitting there and it’s pretty scary,” Casey said.

The airport said it is required to do live drills every three years, but does them every year instead.

“That’s the goal here that people will remember by routine what they trained and they will put it into practice,” Scully said.

Scully added that the airport also had six planning exercises leading up to Saturday’s drill.

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