'Dispatch, this is a drill! We have an EMB 135 that has skidded off the runway'


    In this training exercise, tower radio says a plane crashed on the runway with 22 passengers on board, injuries unknown. (SBG)

    NORTH BEND, Ore. - Aviation firefighter Michael Craig responds to the call.

    "Dispatch, this is a drill! We have an EMB 135 that has skidded off the runway."

    In this training exercise, tower radio says a plane crashed on the runway with 22 passengers on board, injuries unknown.

    The job for firefighters: control and knock out the fire.

    In this training exercise, tower radio says a plane crashed on the runway with 22 passengers onboard, injuries unknown. (SBG)

    "What this does," says Craig, the training officer, "is test the incident management system at the local level."

    This is a mass casualty exercise required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Fire crews trained with Bay Area Hospital and Bay Cities Ambulance, law enforcement and the Coast Guard.

    Fire crews trained with Bay Area Hospital and Bay Cities Ambulance, law enforcement and the Coast Guard. (SBG)

    "It's a chance to all work together and make sure that everybody's ready for a mass casualty," Craig said.

    Tara Pierce, the airport's account manager, agrees.

    In this training exercise, she's playing a crash "survivor".

    "Our plane crashed and I tried to get out and get away but I collapsed," Pierce said. "I'm going to actually get back-boarded and air-lifted up to Bay Area Hospital. I'm going to go through their trauma system."

    Fire crews assess the injuries and categorize them from green - OK - to black, for deceased.

    Pierce is marked red.

    "It's really important in case we ever actually have a situation like this," she said.

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