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Emergency Drill at the Peoria International Airport

Preparing... in case disaster strikes

Bartonville  - The State of Illinois recommends that you have an emergency kit in your and home…  a detailed plan of what to do in a disaster. If an emergency strikes, local response crews need to be prepared too. Every three years the Peoria International Airport is required to prove its ready for emergency. This time... it's a plane crash.

"We’ve been planning this exercise for close to 6 months” says Gene Olson, Director of Airports.

When the call goes out... Crews treat it like it’s real.

"You can play all day long but the more realistic a person can make it, the more people feel, the more they react better” explains Incident Commander Mike Bachman.

The National Guard and six different local fire departments spring into action. Officials say it's not all about the boots on the ground... local government and hospitals get put through their paces too.

"It’s not just for our benefit; everybody gets to exercise their emergency plans in this” say Bachman.

Volunteers and mannequins played the victims of the crash. Through triage, tourniquet, and transport... they brought an extra layer of urgency to the scene.

Bachman explains, "All that training comes together so tomorrow if something happens, everybody is on the same page and ready to go.”

"We have some notes on what we could do better and what we could improve next time and that's exactly why you do these kinds of things” says Olson.

After the exercise ended, the leaders of the drill go through what they call a "hot wash." There they are professionally evaluated on their individual tasks during the drill.

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