Mock plane crash held at Rapid City Regional Airport - KOTA Territory News

Mock plane crash held at Rapid City Regional Airport

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To prepare for an emergency situation like a plane crash, a full scale training exercise was held Saturday at the Rapid City Regional Airport.

With bodies on the ground, at first glance this may look like a serious accident. It was actually or a mock plane crash exercise.
 
"This is a scenario that is involving a large aircraft, it's a CRJ 200. It had 53 personnel on board the aircraft and this aircraft is as simulated as an exercise and crashed at our airport," said Pete Girtz, Interim Director of the Rapid City Regional Airport.
 
Many different agencies including the American Red Cross, Pennington County Search and Rescue and the Rapid City Regional Hospital were involved. Girtz says the exercise was good for the public.
 
"We want to make sure everybody in the community understands we practice these things on a large scale, so that way they feel confident we as a community and supporting agencies feel confident we are able to handle such a situation such as a large aircraft being crashed," said Girtz.
 
Kelly Wiswell, who was an accident victim in the exercise, says she enjoyed the learning experience.
 
"It was fun just to be out here and see what would really happen inside an actual emergency. Even though it was just a mock it was still pretty fun to see how they would really respond," said Wiswell.
 
Wiswell had a black eye and lacerations to her arm. She says the wounds were all very realistic.
 
"That was probably my favorite part, was seeing everybody made up, and just being made up myself. I mean I just have a black eye," said Wiswell.
 
Others had fatal or more severe injuries like lacerations to the face.
 
"I was having trouble breathing was unconscious and unresponsive, and an hour into it, my roll, I was dead," said Mark Lee, a participant in the exercise.
 
While participants say this was fun, they also say it was good preparation.
 
"Just so everybody can know like how to handle certain situations, how the community would feel in a situation like this," said Wiswell.

The airport conducts full scale emergency exercises every three years, as part of Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

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