By: Mythili Gubbi, 23ABC , JaNell Gore, 23ABC
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Emergencies can happen at any time, and when it comes to saving lives, organizations want to be prepared. That’s why the Meadows Field Airport had a practice drill this morning to simulate a plane crash and see how agencies would respond.
If you were near the airport Thursday morning, you might have seen or heard the sirens of ambulances and fire trucks. It was all part of a practice drill for Kern County agencies in case of an emergency at the airport and understanding how to respond to this kind of situation.
First responders were treating victims from a crashed plane as part of the drill for emergency services to practice in case of a real emergency.
“So, we can learn from each other and practice so that if ever called upon, we can be effective in performing a response,” said Mark Witsoe the Airports Director, Kern County
The drill was to help test response times, decision-making abilities, and agencies working together. The FAA requires commercial airports to run tests like these.
“We call it our triennial emergency exercise every three years,” said Witsoe.
The Sheriff’s Office, Kern County Fire, California Highway Patrol, Hall Ambulance, Get Bus, and others were part of the agencies responding. Volunteers acted as crash victims who needed treatment and care.
“I’m really appreciative that all the mutual aid agencies and the kern county departments involved in the scenario today really kind of stepped up to bring their people out and perform,” said Witsoe.
The stimulation is very similar to a real one but not every detail can be added.
“It’s not like we did every single physical activity as if it would happen in real life. But we did get a chance to get some real experience working out on the airfield,” said Witsoe.
Now even though Witsoe added that flying is safe and crashes like this are not common, he stressed the importance of being prepared and making sure every agency knows its role in case of an emergency.
“It’s true that they are unlikely, but it’s important to the whole aviation system that if something happens, that there’s an effective response. That we try to save as many lives as possible,” said Witsoe.