Tucson fire and others hold mass casualty drill at Hi Corbett

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- In an emergency situation, we depend on our public safety crews to save lives. But in order to do that they need practice, and lots of it.

A sharp explosion and then chaos ensues at Hi Corbett field.

Some victims lie lifeless on the ground.  Others, covered in blood, call for medical assistance.

A flurry of firefighters rush inside.

It's practice for when a real life emergency situation occurs.

"These incidents are very low frequency in this area; therefore, it's important that we do get the opportunity to practice it," said Tucson Fire Department Fire Battalion Chief Casey Justen.

Thursday the Tucson Fire Department worked with several fire and EMS agencies from across Southern Arizona to conduct a mass casualty drill.

"There was an explosion I was told and I have flash burns to my left arm and my chest and difficulty breathing," said actress Felicity McDonald.

About a hundred actors played the role of patients. All had different injuries that ranged in severity.

"They put an immediate sticker on me, which means I need immediate help," McDonald said.

It's drills like these that prepare crews for a situation where there's little time to think. One of those incidents came on January 8.

"The reason we believe that incident went so smooth is because of the training, the planning, and the relationships we built during these exercises," Justen said.

The annual drill takes about 10 months to plan and can cost up to $10,000.

It's paid for through a federal grant program, however that program is in danger of losing its funding.