Simulated Plane Crash Tests Readiness

Everyone had a role to play.  The twenty volunteers were tagged for triage and treatment, and within minutes, they are the hurt... and the dead.

This scenario at Tyler Pounds Regional is one that everyone wants to avoid, but no one can be sure it'll never happen.

"A plane hit a fuel truck and exploded. There are mass casualties, you have some burns, you have some deaths," explained Chris Wiggins, airport operations manager.  There can be no waiting. Fire department trucks throw foam on the fire, and the first responders treat the injured. Those responders come from the fire station on the field.

Fire Chief Paul White: "The guys on scene get here in a very short period of time, in fact, the FAA will simulate an emergency incident, and they'll time them."

The primary mission today is how everyone works together. Ambulances arrive from both hospitals, there are more firefighters from inside Tyler, and it's not long before the simulated fire is out.

Victims are triaged, tagged, and transported. And everyone's left to decide how they fared.

Wiggins: "Everything went pretty well."

They're sure the plan's in place if that call is ever for real.