by: Lea Johnson

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Tri-Cities Airport held an emergency drill on Thursday simulating a plane crash. The drill is held every three years.

Kristi Haulsee, director of marketing and air service development for the airport, said the drill is about making sure emergency personnel are communicating and working well during an emergency situation.

Over 50 volunteers from local high schools played the roles of victims during the simulation drill, equipped with special effects makeup. Each volunteer was assigned specific injuries for first responders to aid and care for.

“We will be working with various injuries,” said Haulsee. “From someone who’s maybe just wandering around on the airfield with very minimal injuries all the way, up until someone has perhaps perished in the crash.”

All emergency responders have to be coordinated.

“It’s up to us,” said Haulsee. “We have to be on the scene of a crash within three minutes of any incident happening on airfields.”

Sullivan County Emergency Management Director Jim Bean said during emergencies, all hands are required.

“We have ambulances from at least five counties,” Bean said. “Fire departments from within Sullivan and Washington County, we’ve got the forensic center from Johnson City.”

Firefighters practiced putting out a plane fire by using an old school bus during the mock simulation drill.