By Jendaya Fleming

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) — Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) hosted a large-scale emergency response training on Thursday evening to evaluate and enhance the airport’s emergency plans, capabilities and coordination with outside agencies.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires the Airport to conduct a full-scale exercise every three years. This year’s event included up to 150 people, including airport employees, firefighters, paramedics, regional medical examiners, airline employees and emergency responders from surrounding jurisdictions.

The training simulated a large-scale response to an aircraft incident on the airfield. It tested the airport and responders on incident management, firefighting operations, triage and hospital transport, reunification and communication. There was no public access to the exercise area during the event.

Participating departments and agencies include: All Departments of Horry County Department of Airports including Airport Administration, Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF), Airport & Airfield Maintenance, Aircraft Services, and General Aviation. Mutual Aid agencies include: Horry County Emergency Management, Horry County Police – Airport Division, Horry County Fire Rescue, Myrtle Beach Fire Department, FAA Air Traffic Control, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), American Red Cross, Surfside Beach Fire Department, Coastal Carolina University, US Coast Guard, multiple airlines, Conway Medical Center and Grand Strand Health. Airport operations will not be impacted by the exercise.

“The airport’s top priority is the safety of its passengers and employees. Conducting a comprehensive training exercise enables us to keep our response skills sharp and continuously improve our emergency response plans,” said Scott Van Moppes, Director of Airports. “A seamless coordination of multiple agencies is vital when responding to a crisis, and we appreciate the efforts of all the first responders, volunteers, and airport employees who will participate in this exercise.”