More than 100 volunteers played victims in a mock airplane crash at Chicago Rockford International Airport Friday.
The airport staged a drill where an Allegiant jet had an "accident" when there was a landing gear malfunction. That left volunteers either sitting or lying flat on a runway next to the aircraft. Firefighters and medics from the Airport, Rockford, Byron, Freeport, and other nearby communities then took them away for triage and treatment. All the while, fire trucks flanked the site, in position as if there was a real fire.
Airport Fire Chief Chris Millard says the FAA requires this type of drill every three years, and it serves an important purpose.
“Practicing your plan and evaluate your plan to see if it works, and if it doesn’t, this is a great opportunity to make sure that we make the proper changes and update our partners to be able to handle a situation like this,” he said.
During the course of the drill, emergency workers also practiced handling press coverage, tested their unified command structure, and tested new gurneys that required fewer firefighters to carry victims. As for the volunteers, they recovered quickly after some coffee and snacks.