Super coverage of the big game at Cowboys Stadium

Emergency Workers Stage Mock Disaster for Super Bowl

By Julie Tam
|  Monday, Jan 3, 2011  |  Updated 1:43 PM CDT
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With just 54 days until <a title=Super Bowl XLV, Dallas emergency workers prepared for a potential disaster with a full-scale emergency drill." />

Julie Tam, NBCDFW.com

With just 54 days until Super Bowl XLV, Dallas emergency workers prepared for a potential disaster with a full-scale emergency drill.

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Dallas emergency workers prepared Tuesday for a potential emergency or disaster during Super Bowl festivities.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency  wrote the script for the full-scale emergency exercise that simulated real incidents along closed-off streets in downtown Dallas.

The morning started with a mock bus wreck outside the Dallas Convention Center and a "gunman" inside the building.

A large group of SWAT team members deployed to find the shooter and any hostages. Meanwhile, firefighters arrived to clean up hazardous materials from the bus crash outside while paramedics helped victims off the bus.

Once a suspicious package was reported nearby, the news media were moved to a safer area.

"With the Super Bowl, this is something that we're all aware of that could possibly happen, and the potential is greater here with so many people in the area," said Brad London, a firefighter and paramedic participating in the drill. "We're not perfect. We still could use some more work."

Observers from FEMA, Homeland Security, the FBI and local agencies will evaluate how the emergency responders communicated with each other, prioritized and worked out the logistics of a potential catastrophe.

They should complete their evaluation by early next year and other North Texas cities can learn from their mistakes and best practices.

"We need to find out exactly what our resources are, how we handle an incident or potential terrorist hazard, how we can respond and how we can keep the citizens of Dallas safe," said Lt. Joel Lavender, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman.

The Super Bowl is being held Feb. 6 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

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