Middle Georgia Regional Airport reenacts mass casualty scene

Nearly 30 agencies participated in the mass casualty exercise.


MACON, Georgia (41NBC/ WMGT) – When on a plane, many of us aren’t thinking something bad will happen. But I ask you this question: What would you do if the plane you’re in crashed or made an emergency landing?

The saying goes, expect the best, but prepare for the worst.

“It can happen anywhere, any time of the day,” Middle Georgia Regional Airport Assistant Manager Blake Roy said.

Plane crashes aren’t as common as accidents in a car. But, it’s not unheard of either.

“We just had a plane crash in Cuba, a few days ago. It’s a real life situation that we train for once every three-years. It can happen any day and these guys are ready for that, if it ever does,” he said.

Every three-years, the FAA requires airports to do mass casualty exercises. To prepare the airport and emergency services for the worst.

“We made up a fake airline, basically that crashed here, on the short final to the runway. Slid down the runway and came to a stop,” Roy said.

With the help of 60 volunteers, EMS, deputies, and the coroner were able to have hands on training.

“The intensity that they brought, they went full on and just tagged everybody. They knew exactly what was going on. They knew that I was dead,” volunteer Shane O’Leary said.

48 volunteers played the roles as injured passengers, 18 un-injured, and 10 acting as they were dead.

“For initial emergency response to an aircraft accident, the fire department has three minutes to make it from the fire station, on the field to the accident site. That’s FAA regulated,” Roy said.

Emergency Responders aren’t the only ones to learn a thing or two.

“I believe that they should be put through these every so often, like they have been. But I think more importantly, it’s important for the community and like us, we’ve volunteered for I think it’s great because we learn a new perspective of their job,” O’Leary said.

Hospitals in the area are getting in on this demonstration. They’re getting prepared for what would happen if a tragedy took place and patients in the masses were to come to their facility.

The next mass casualty exercise is expecting to take place in 2021.


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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.