Training For Disaster At Dulles Airport

5:10 PM, May 4, 2013   |    comments
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DULLES AIRPORT, STERLING, Va. (WUSA9) -- There was a mass casualty event at Dulles Airport that you probably didn't know about. That's because it was all fake.

An emergency preparedness drill gave first responders hands on training. After the Boston bombings, the mass casualty drill is more important than ever.

The scenario: Flames erupt after a driver breaches the security gates, drives on to the runway, steals a fuel truck and then crashes into an aircraft.  That causes a chain reaction of a jetliner to abort its take off. The plane veers off the runway and breaks its landing gear."

Deputy Fire Chief Tom Kenney, Dulles Airport, "Today it's a simulated plane crash tomorrow it could be a bombing, it could be a bus accident. A Mass casualty could be presented at any time."
First responders at Dulles International Airport and across Northern Virginia worked together to treat the wounded.
The patients are volunteers acting out injuries and the pain is fake, but the training is real.

Kenney says, "The injuries look real, they're to be treated as if they're real, we have burns, broken arms, eyeballs that are out."
The Boston Bombing has made this mock exercise that much more real. The drill shows how important it is to prepare for the possibility of a mass casualty here in the DC area.  

Kenney, "the timing of that bomb versus our simulated plane crash reinforces the need for us to be prepared at all times. Events could unfold whether it's a terrorist attack or a bus accident on one of our highways."

It's real life hands on experience these first responders hope they never have to use.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority holds these mock drills every three years but the next one will be in two years.

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