Airport drill prepares airport for major crash

Airport drill prepares airport for major crash
PASCO, Wash. -- The Tri-Cities Airport practiced what would happen if a plane crashed right here in Pasco. Dozens of teenagers painted in blood were chosen to be apart of it.

"We're gonna lay on the ground and then we're gonna be rushed to the hospitals, said Pasco High student Abi Vergara.

Abi Vergara and Ana Mango are two Pasco High students chosen to participate in a simulated plane crash at the Tri-Cities airport.
A drill like this takes place every three years at airports all over the world.

"It's like a good learning experience for the actual airport workers and for us students, so we could actually have some background on what to do if we ever got in a plane crash, said Pasco High student Ana Samaniego.

The exercise brings the local community together. All the first responders as well as the three local hospitals. They practice reacting to an incident with mass casualties.

"At the end of the exercise you feel more prepared, you also see what you did well and what you didn't do well...so you know what you need to work on for the real accident.," said Deputy Director of Airports, Buck Taft.

Airport officials say the exercise itself is definitely important, but this year they are doing something a little different to take extra precautionary measures.

How will police secure the scene? Where will they care for the wounded? How can they make sure first responders have food and shelter? These are the types of things officials thought through. They've never done that in years past.

"Naturally, we never want those things to happen, but we still have to have a plan in effect that will help us calmly take care of that incident," said Police Chief for the Port of Pasco, Arthur Owen.

He says it's a bit of a stretch for them to try and move to the next step, but it's important. The kids think so too.

"It's gonna help us in the future if anything were to happen, just cause, San Francisco was like out of nowhere," said Vergara.

Airport officials said they are confident int heir results from the drill.