The exercise was coordinated with another being held atLos Angeles International Airport, combining the efforts of the airport's own fire and police departments with those of Burbank, Glendale and Los Angeles. The two drills, tagged "Operation Safe Passage," aim to help the airports prepare for the real thing.
"This helps make certain that intersecting agencies are working together," said Capt. Chuck Godwin of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority Fire Department. "Of course, with our close proximity with Hollywood studios, we have to have a few explosions."
The airport is required to conduct a disaster drill every three years to ensure that agencies across the Los Angeles area are able to work together, Godwin explained.
The drill was funded with a Homeland Security grant provided to the Los Angeles Urban Area Security Initiative, a group of 16 cities surrounding Los Angeles.
In preparation for the event, officials arranged for a jet to be placed on a runway well away from Burbank's main terminal. They strew dummies across the area to represent those killed in the incident, and arranged for live volunteers to play the victims.
"I have a head injury," victim Cathie Brown said after being rescued. "I fell down when I was getting off the plane."
Volunteers were prepped before the exercise began; wounds were painted on with makeup and each volunteer received a card describing the kinds of injuries they would sustain during the bombing. Then the victims were loaded on the front section of a small jet and left to wait for the rescuers to come.
"This is my first time doing this ? the whole thing has been very interesting," said Brown, a disaster volunteer with the city. "They did a couple simulations earlier to prepare us."
Within seconds of the two explosions, rapid intervention vehicles came down the runway, spraying white foam at the burning cars and plane. Ambulances, police cars and firefighters were soon to follow.