The scenario: A passenger plane skids off the runway on landing, injuring dozens of people, and leaving the aircraft on fire.
It seemed very real, but it was all part of a disaster-preparedness drill at an East Texas airport.
"We're exercising a full-scale disaster drill. We want to make sure that, should we unfortunately have an accident out here, we'll be able to accommodate that," says East Texas Regional Airport manager Roy Miller.
A plane skidding off the runway on landing , creating dozens of injuries. An FAA required timed drill included members of law enforcement, fire and emergency personnel. The focus of the drill for all participants, is time. Every second wasted could mean somebody's life.
"Once the tower calls the simulated emergency, they'll have 3 minutes to get to the scene," Miller says.
Volunteers played the injured passengers, as fire control and triage was put into immediate action.
"We can find out how many victims we might expect; that allows us to activate our internal disaster response plan," says Good Shepherd Medical Center safety director Chris Bland.
Some spend hours in make-up for the drill.
"Do the community some good; we actually get to learn what's going to happen in a disaster," says volunteer Dairisha Petitgean.
East Texas Regional airport must do this required drill once every three years to maintain certification.
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