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.