Airport, emergency responders, students participate in plane crash simulation

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Dothan Regional Airport and multiple emergency agencies participated in a mock plane crash.

The simulated crash was part of the Dothan/Houston County Emergency Response Plan simulation.

“We tested our mass casualty response by having an aircraft crash here on the property, a simulated crash of course, with about 27 patients,” said Fire Marshal Chris Etheredge.

Dothan paramedics, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and EMT’s encountered several critically injured patients and at least two fatalities during the simulation.

Although difficult, these exercises prepare first responders for future emergencies.

“When you have the players that are really going to be there if it happens tomorrow, next week or next month, those are the folks that are going to show up,” Etheredge said. “So having them here on the property and interacting with each other is paramount to the success of the future.”

First responders aren’t the only ones who benefited from the simulations; students from Wallace Community College got in on the action, too.

“It totally gives a different perspective when you’re in it when you’re not just taking in information and learning when it’s a real world perspective,” said Wallace student Jeri Allison.

“Now I can see what the emergency personnel go through; what firefighters go through,” explained Amanda Mossman, another Wallace student. “Allowing us to know what they go through will help (me) communicate better with other emergency personnel, nurses, EMT’s.”

These fully-functional simulations are held every other year.

17 state, federal, and local organizations and over 100 people participated in the simulations.

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