GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Every three years airports must conduct an emergency drill that simulates a fiery plan crash to test first responders during a time crisis.
On Thursday, May 18 at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, students from the nearby Aviation Academy laid in a field, many covered in blood, screaming for help as crews responded to the 61 "victims" of a plane crash.
Airport fire chief Joe Dancz said most things went well, but noted communication among all agencies that responded needed to be improved.
“It's used to test our capabilities with our mutual aid partners," Dancz said.
The teams battled fires and triaged disoriented passengers. It took the first team just over three minutes to arrive on scene after the initial distress call.
The airport will switch over to an 800-system by the end of next, which will allow responders to communicate all on the same radio frequency in times of an emergency.
"No matter who you are [or] how long you've been at it, when the sirens go off - even for a drill like this - you know that you have to perform," Dancz said.
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