ALBANY, GA (WALB) – First responders from the city, county, and Southwest Georgia Regional Airport worked together on disaster drill. The F. A. A. requires the Airport emergency personnel to hold these drills at least every three years.
To make it more realistic for the first responders, Turner Job Corps students acted as victims in the plane crash.
Under the scenario the plane was supposedly diverted to Albany for an emergency landing. Airport Deputy Director Kenneth Johnson said, "Upon landing on our runway, it crashes. We have some walking wounded. Some deceased, and some injuries."
As airport fire trucks shoot water to put out the drill flames, firefighters and paramedics tend to the injured. Forty Turner Job Corps students acted as victims, and to get in the spirit did a lot of make up to look like real crash victims, complete with burns, broken bones, and life threatening injuries.
The students then acted like they were hurt as first responders tended to them. "It gives realism to it. And it also provides experience for our firefighters and EMT type personnel," Dougherty County EMA Deputy Director Jim Vaught said.
Albany Fire and Paramedics back up the airport first responders, and gain experience at the airport. "We want cooperation. Cohesion. We want all of us to work together. Because if this actually happened, that's what you are going to see. All of us working together," Johnson said.
For the new Firefighters and paramedics, it's a chance to get a close up look at the operation of the airport, and the gates and entrances they would use to respond if there ever is a real crash.
While this emergency drill was going on , the Delta jet from Atlanta and several military helicopters from Fort Rucker were landing at the airport on the other runway. You can only imagine what the jet passengers were thinking, looking out the window as they landed and saw bodies lying all over the runway and fire trucks and ambulances.
The participants held a critique session to go over the strengths and weaknesses in the drill and to see what they need to do to improve their response.