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Full-scale disaster exercise trains emergency personnel for worst-case scenario

(WKYT)
Published: Apr. 11, 2017 at 4:27 PM EDT
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Every three years the Blue Grass Airport holds a full-scale emergency training exercise where they mock a plane crash. The exercise is designed to test the capabilities of airport and community emergency response staff in the event of an aviation incident.

Tiffany Hart with media relations for Blue Grass Airport said, "It definitely helps us train in a variety of ways. So, one is that we actually get to come together and each of us has our own roles and identify those and put those into practice as if it were a realistic accident."

Organizers brought in nearly 300 participants to make the exercise as realistic as possible.

"EMS to Police, safety, firefighters, and we also have the Salvation Army, Red Cross, we have a variety of students volunteering to help us today as volunteers or victims, and we have a lot of our actual tenants and staff today participating as well," Hart said.

To make this plane crash more realistic, volunteer students had face and body paint on to imitate injuries so that evaluators could judge the effectiveness of the exercises and the readiness of the responding rescue crews.

"It's a great opportunity for us to put things into practice and see where we might want to make any changes in case of a real emergency."

While this event only takes place every three years, officials say "tabletop exercises" are performed during the other years to keep first respondents aware.