OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – First responders honed their emergency response skills in downtown Oklahoma City on Wednesday morning.

Police officers, firefighters, paramedics and the Oklahoma National Guard’s 63rd Civil Support Team participated in a full-scale hazmat drill.

Training involved a drone dropping a white, powdery substance, and HAZMAT crews assessing the danger level.

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First responders during a training exercise in downtown Oklahoma City.

Officials said such training exercises are critical to providing first responders a better idea of how to respond to real emergencies.

“The exercise plays out like a real event, we try to make it as real as we can without having an actual event,” said Capt. Frank Barnes, Director of Emergency Management, City of Oklahoma City.

“If we don’t know our counterparts, whether it’s police, fire or sheriff, we can’t integrate fully whether it’s a hazmat incident or a natural disaster like a tornado,” said SSgt. Dillon Thomas, Oklahoma National Guard.

At least one training exercise is held each year, and typically take months to plan.