BOURNE (CBS) — First responders from around Massachusetts are spending 72 hours straight simulating a terror attack as a training exercise.

“This is the best training we could do because it puts us in a real-life scenario so when the time comes that we have to actually respond to a real rescue there’s no second guessing,” said Sean Page with the Plymouth Technical Rescue Team.

350 members of the Massachusetts National Guard and 300 technical rescue experts from fire departments across the state gathered at Camp Edwards on Joint Base Cape Cod to practice rescuing mannequin victims.

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Car bomb training simulation at Camp Edwards (WBZ-TV)

Duxbury Fire Department Captain Rob Reardon described the scene to WBZ-TV.

“What we have… is an improvised car bomb. The car bomb blew up at a school, they were holding a town meeting at the time so when rescuers first arrived there were mannequins all over the place.”

The full-scale mobilization exercise, dubbed Operation Score, tests how responders would coordinate rescue and recovery efforts for survivors high and low.

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Rescue simulation at Camp Edwards (WBZ-TV)

From the moment they arrived, Page explained that responders were forced to take action.

“When we first showed up last night, we had an influx of about 13 injured people flood us while we were trying to get ready to deploy,” said Page. “So we had two minutes to figure out: Where are all of these people coming from? Why are they coming to us? And where did they come from? We all had to react within about 5 minutes.”

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First responders taking part in a terror attack simulation (WBZ-TV)

Reardon said, “This is real world, it’s happening around the country, it’s happening around the world. We need to prepare.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports


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