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Disaster drill held at Denver International Airport, local hospitals

Posted: 12:11 PM, Aug 17, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-17 20:46:02Z

DENVER -- If you noticed military helicopters in the area, or a large concentration of ambulances near Denver International Airport Wednesday morning, don't worry. It was all part of a drill.

Federal, state, and local agencies came together to practice how to handle a natural disaster. It was a test of the National Disaster Medical System.

"No matter what happens, we have a practiced incident team that is taking the time to drill to make sure we can respond in an effective matter to any national emergency," incident commander Natalie Merckens said.

Wednesday's incident was a staged "earthquake" in Salt Lake City.

150 fake patients were brought in to a building near DIA, triaged there, and either taken by ambulance, or military helicopters, to Denver-area hospitals that were also using the exercise as training.

"Take a look at what's going on in Louisiana. So when a natural disaster hits, the United States wants to step in and help our citizens be safe. This is part of what our system does to make sure everyone has access to healthcare and stabilized in emergency situations," Merckens added.

The training did not take place inside the terminal and no flights were impacted.

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