PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Travelers to Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Friday morning may have witnessed bloody teenagers crawling on the grass and crying adults alongside firefighters sprinting around.
There were no actual injuries or casualties, however, as this was an FAA required drill being held.
Deputy Executive Director Richard McConnell explained it is a multi-agency function.
“You notice that the airport here is a smaller airport so our resources are very limited, however, we have the same type of aircraft that come in here that go into the big larger cities that have a larger amount of resources. So what we do, is we have to exercise our mutual aid response. All of the agencies that don’t normally work out of here, the Sheriffs departments, the local fire departments,” said McConnell.
Students from J.R Arnold High School and Bay High School drama clubs were done up with makeup and props to represent realistic disaster victims. Getting to practice what they learn in their classrooms was exciting for them they said.
“So we kind of just got to pick actors and wounds we got to build so that the paramedics on site can practice what it would be like should there be an accident on the runways or with on the planes.” said one student Lillian Hill.
The drill was a three part approach, from putting out the fire, treating the patients, to practicing reuniting survivors with family in the airport terminal’s family assistance center.
The FAA requires drills similar to Friday’s be done every three years to prepare for real life disasters that could occur at the local airport.