MEDFORD, Ore. — Nearly two dozen agencies are teamed up on Thursday to make sure they’re prepared to respond to air emergencies.
The Rogue Valley International Medford Airport held a live drill for emergency responders. It simulated an airplane incident resulting in injured passengers.
The airport tower operator called in the simulated crash and that’s when emergency responders began flooding the area. More than 20 area agencies took part in this simulation.
A large bus with makeshift wings played the plane’s part. 55 actors and volunteers were the passengers on board the aircraft. Smoke machines created a cloudy obstacle for rescue crews.
The actors were covered in fake blood and burns to make the experience more visually realistic for emergency responders. Each passenger had a card explaining their assigned list of symptoms to act out during the simulation.
There were even actors inside the airport, playing the part of the general public waiting to pick up loved ones. So first responders could practice handling that part of the event.
Airport officials say the response time for a plane crash like the one simulated today would normally last at least a few weeks. This event was just under two hours.