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Airport Disaster Drill Polishes Readiness and Teamwork

By Rhonda Miller | Published 10 May 2011 10:40am | comments
Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport conducts an emergency exercise.

A simulated plane crash at Gulfport-Biloxi Airport gives first responders hands-on training for saving lives in a major disaster. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports on Tuesday’s emergency drill.

Out on the runway, ambulances and fire trucks rush to the downed aircraft. Crying, bleeding people are scattered all over the ground. As firemen pull the hoses forward, Chief John Rudy of the Combat Readiness Training Center evaluates the disaster situation.

"They extend the hose line, show capability with the hose line, that it actually works, then they go to a patient collection mode," Rudy said.

Luckily, this is only a drill. This one is at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, but the Federal Aviation Administration requires the drill at every airport in the country every three years.

The volunteer crash victims are service men and women stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi. Airman James Canty has some nasty looking imaginary wounds.

"My injury basically, open chest wound, I’m busted pretty much, got a fractured right femur, can’t breathe, I’m done. They actually walked by me and said I was done, I was dead, I was pretty much dead, yeah," Canty said.

Yes, there’s some joking around in the drill. But everyone knows it has a serious purpose.

Denson Stasher is Director of Operations and Security at Jackson -Evers International Airport.

"It helps us to review our emergency response plan. It helps us to build on our relationships with our mutual aid responders, fire police medical," Stasher said.

In Jackson, as in Gulfport, the drill is about being prepared and working together to save lives.


Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport conducts an emergency exercise.



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