Being prepared for the worst case scenario, that was the theme behind today’s full-scale emergency response drill at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport.
More than 20 agencies were involved and dozens of volunteers participated with the whole goal being to be ready in case there’s a disaster.
“If something like this happened, everybody would know what their responsibilities are and we would just go and do it,” Airport Operations and Security Manager Doug Brown said. “Anytime you have a drill, that’s what you’re practicing, is so that if you do have a casualty it would just be like clockwork.”
The simulation involved setting a mobile dummy plane on fire, putting that fire out, evaluating victims and sending them off to hospitals. Brown says the drill continues off site.
“We’ve shipped out 24 people to local area hospitals and they will run them through their systems, emergency rooms,” Brown said. “They’ve been moulaged so that they all got injuries and the hospitals will treat those injuries.”
Volunteers were made up to look like they have actual wounds and were wearing their vital signs. Airport Director Mike Olson says those steps are essential to the training.
“We have to simulate what the potential incident or accident could be so we want to make it as realistic as possible,” Olson said.
He says the drill tests the responders’ communication skills the most and gets them ready for a possible catastrophe.
“We have the equipment, the personnel, and the communications to provide a safe-running airport,” Olson said.
Airport staff and local agencies participate in a yearly tabletop gathering to talk through these scenarios. They do the in-person emergency drill every three years.