By Lynn Moore |

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI – A simulated airplane crash will occur at the Muskegon County Airport Thursday as part of a drill to test emergency responders.

A “full-scale emergency exercise,” including volunteers acting as “victims,” will occur from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sept. 16, according to a press release from the airport.

Emergency responders will be reporting to the airport as if they would to an actual crash, and the public is advised that “live fire and smoke pyrotechnics” will be used during the exercise.

“The scene is made as realistic as possible so mutual aid responders can fully test their ability to quickly and efficiently respond to any emergency that happens at the airport,” Muskegon County Airport Director Joel Burgess said in a prepared statement.

The emergency exercise is required by the Federal Aviation Administration every three years.

An old aircraft fuselage will be used to simulate the crash, including controlled burns. Victims will have injury simulation makeup with first responders practicing determining the extent of injury, treating on the scene and transporting patients to the hospital.

Airport and airline personnel will participate in the exercise as well as numerous public agencies. Those include the Norton Shores police and fire departments, Muskegon County Emergency Services, Muskegon County Central Dispatch, Muskegon County Intermediate School District, American Red Cross, Mercy Health System, North Ottawa Community Hospital, ProMed ambulance and the FAA.