Mass casualty drill helps first responders prepare for the worst

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – Bradley International Airport experienced some tense moments Saturday morning. Thankfully, it was all just part of a training drill.

It’s called a mass-casualty simulation drill, it mimics various emergencies that could occur on a plane.

Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport staged their mock emergency Saturday, involving a fire in a cockpit.

Suffield Fire Department Chief Chuck Flynn told 22News first responders had to treat the situation as if it were an actual emergency. “They simulated a MD88 coming in with a fire and smoke on board. The plane landed safely, however there was supposed to be a large amount of fire on board, there were also some injuries,” he said.

The victims, played by volunteers, helped act out the make-believe scenario.

Twenty-five different emergency agencies participated in the mass-casualty drill. Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Dillon told 22News, the drill helps them prepare for actual emergencies in case there ever was one. “In a live incident, you wouldn’t want to be interacting for the first time, so this gives these agencies the opportunity to get to know one another, to get to know the capabilities of the surrounding agencies,” he said.

Participation wasn’t limited to emergency agencies, nearby hospitals got involved, as well. Jon Martin of Connecticut Children’s Hospital said they might not be the first ones who treat the victims, which is why being familiar with the other agencies is so important. “Mass-casualty events that we’ve had have really made us reevaluate our trauma program. To see how first responders are dealing with things and how it’s going to impact what we do is really important to us,” he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to perform full-scale emergency response drills once every three years to help prepare and train crews in the event of a real emergency.



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