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Mock Plane Crash

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Expect the unexpected. The Williams County Emergency Services was practicing what they would do if a plane crashed at the airport.  

 Practice makes perfect, and that was the goal for emergency services in the Williston area on Saturday.

     The scene was a plane crash, and first responders were testing their skills in a few different areas.

 Two school busses acted as the plane. The scenario was made as real as possible. Crews responded to the scene only after they heard the call on the scanner.

      "Response times today we're actually very good. The crash truck was out there right around 2 minutes, which is pretty realistic," said Rapid City Fire Department Lt. Bill Reishus.

It took police, fire, and ambulance between 10-15 minutes to arrive on scene, which Reishus says is normal because they are going to be out doing other calls at the time of the crash. There wasn't a fire in the crash, but gas did spill onto the concrete. To prevent the gas from starting a fire, crews used an Aircraft Rescue Firefighting or ARFF truck to lay a foam blanket down.

      Reishus 'My focus was to see how well the guys ran the truck, and I got to tell ya I was pretty impressed. They were able to get that foam blanket down," added Reishus.

 37 people were on board the plane. Victims were taken to the hospital via ambulance or Guardian flight.

      "The ASC worked very well for a triage for the walking wounded. We do have eight rooms in the back, we had doctors staged there in a good triage system, and a good response from nurses and physicians," said Mercy Medical Emergency Preparedness Committee Member Tara Neff.

 The FAA requires the airport to do an exercise like this at least once every three years.

      Mike Hallesy/Williams County Emergency Services "God forbid, something really happen that we do at least have a little bit of a footprint and an idea of what we have to tackle," said Williams County Emergency Services Manager Mike Hallesy.

 There were some bumps in the road, but Hallesy says now they know what they need to work on. Overall Reishus says it was a pretty realistic exercise, and says in a real event passengers can help themselves out by knowing where they are.

      Reishus "When you're flying commercially actually pay attention that tells you thus is how to get outta the airplane, most people just tune them out," added Reishus.

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