Dozens of first responders receive training during aircraft disaster simulation

(WTHR photo)
Emergency Response Training at IND Airport
Emergency response training
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - It's done every three years, a staged emergency at Indianapolis International Airport.

"The plane gear collapsed and broke into two pieces. Fire to simulate the fire piece of it. The plane over here is to simulate people still in the aircraft," said Fire Chief Rick Gentry.

35 agencies participated in the training, including all Marion County agencies, Homeland Security and Red Cross to name a few.

"We try to make it as real as possible and as safe as possible," Gentry said.

It takes an entire year to pull it off. In this case, they have staged multiple stages of the disaster, including pulling passengers off of one plane and performing triage at another location.

"You want to practice like you are going to perform," Gentry told us. "So if we do have to work together, we are not strangers. We have worked together in the past. We know what to expect."

Many agencies, including the FAA, were on hand to watch the training.

"We know what the FAA wants us to test, that is first and foremost," Gentry said. "There are other things we want to test so lots of meetings, lots of meetings with each department and the county. If we are doing this and haven't practiced, haven't talked about the plan it's not going to go right. It needs to go right in practice or real life."

Even after the training is complete there is more to be done.

"After everything is done, we will do a hot wash. I will bring in the key players. We will talk and if there is something wrong with the plan we have all agreed upon in the past we will make changes."