PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — About 190 participants from 27 local agencies prepared for worst case scenario, Saturday.
They took part in the largest full-scale disaster drill in downstate Illinois at the Peoria International Airport, some simulated what happens in the case of a plane crash.
Gene Olson, director of airport, said every year they have to go through an emergency plan and review it on paper.
“It’s required by our certification from the FAA, then every three years we have to conduct a disaster exercise,” Olson said.
He said doing these drills makes him feel very prepared.
But preparation comes in other forms too.
Emily Watson with Citylink answered the question of who helps victims when disaster strikes.
“The reality is with a large amount of victims and causalities happening, there’s no other vehicle in this area that can move the amount of people that a bus can,” Watson said.
Olsen said they’ve had accidents at the airport before; that’s why they do the drills — so they are always ready in case of something catastrophic.
“We have some new employees that are in different roles than they’ve been in before. It’s great training for them to go through this,” Olsen said. “It does simulate some of the stress you’d really feel.”
According to Olsen, in this kind of exercise patient accountability is always a challenge and tests the preparedness of emergency agencies.