Air show disaster drill sharpens first responders’ skills
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s an extreme disaster scenario at the Biloxi Elks 606 Lodge. An F-16 crashes, with fire and mass casualties. Meanwhile, a C-130 also crashes at Keesler Air Force Base.
The multiple-disaster scene played out in a complex drill Thursday, about a month ahead of April’s Thunder Over the Sound airshow featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
“The F-16 is crash landing at the back here, so we used a trailer and old van,” said Bill Mays, inspection specialist for KAFB. “It’s simulating that if something happens, what happens with our different response efforts on and off base. We’re ensuring that everyone can communicate. We’re working with the Coast Guard and everyone else.”
They got some help from Biloxi first responders, AMR, and some JROTC students who played crash victims.
“They can see what could possibly happen in a real-life scenario,” said John Bingham, D’Iberville High School JROTC instructor. “In this situation, they can be one of the injured or they could maybe help out with response and recovery.”
They say practice makes perfect, and this crew wants to make sure their routine in this scenario is spot on.
“The injuries we try to re-create are injuries that somewhere, somebody has seen,” Mays added. “Everything short of the smell, we can recreate.”
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