Airport disaster training readies first responders - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Airport disaster training readies first responders

The Combat Readiness Training Center acts as the primary agency for airport emergencies. (Photo source: WLOX) The Combat Readiness Training Center acts as the primary agency for airport emergencies. (Photo source: WLOX)
A handful of local agencies work together in the disaster training. (Photo source: WLOX) A handful of local agencies work together in the disaster training. (Photo source: WLOX)
Mock victims take part in the training (Photo source: WLOX) Mock victims take part in the training (Photo source: WLOX)
Friday's training simulated a commercial plane crash with around forty victims. (Photo source: WLOX) Friday's training simulated a commercial plane crash with around forty victims. (Photo source: WLOX)
CRTC, city and county responders, AMR, and Oschner Flight Care took part in the disaster training. (Photo source: WLOX) CRTC, city and county responders, AMR, and Oschner Flight Care took part in the disaster training. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Airport personnel and first responders say they are ready if disaster were to strike. A training at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport put their skills to the test Friday morning.

A dramatic scene of flashing lights and emergency responders dominated the tarmac at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. Those in charge say this is what it takes to prepare.

"We prepare for an event like this, because it's something that can happen," said airport operations manager Richard Rushing.

According to Rushing, this training is required by the Federal Aviation Administration every three years.

When the training does come together, it's a group effort. A handful of agencies join forces with the airport's primary responder, the Combat Readiness Training Center.

"[This] means we serve as the incident commander and the incident coordinator for these kind of emergencies," said CRTC Assistant Fire Chief Rusty Shoultz.

Working together with city and county responders, AMR, and even Oschner Flight Care, Shoultz took the exercise seriously. It's something that he and his team prepare for all year round.

"These emergencies are actually managed months and weeks and years ahead of time, building partnerships, training regionally," said Shoultz.

The American Red Cross also uses this training as a chance to prepare for real world scenarios. The nonprofit sets up to offer help wherever it's needed, even beyond helping the victims.

"Helping those that are first responders, because they're going to need water. They're going to need different things, and if we can provide it, we would," said Leon Sootin, with the Red Cross.
    
Bringing it all together is something that gives airport officials the confidence to face any situation.

"We are prepared in the event that something happens. We pray that it doesn't happen, but we are prepared for it," said Rushing.

Rushing hopes the training will bring a sense of ease to those who travel.

Copyright WLOX 2016. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly