Emergency crews tackle mock plane accident during disaster response drill at SRQ

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 7:52 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - There was an “emergency” at SRQ on Wednesday. It wasn’t a real emergency but a simulated one. A full scale disaster response exercise involving a plane accident.

“You have mutual aid agencies responding to the site and extracting the victims,” said Jeff Sasada, Operations Manager for the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. “The victims will have triage cards with injuries that they have and they will be treated accordingly.”

This drill, brings together around 20 mutual aid partners from Sarasota and Manatee Counties. It helps prepare these agencies for a real life emergency involving a plane, working together as one. It’s something that has happened in other parts of the country and world. They say up to this point, many of the emergencies SRQ has experiences involve small planes.

“It’s only a matter of time when those long distance close calls are close to home and we try to stay on top of it with training,” said Captain Dino Bogie with the SRQ Fire Department. “Our mutual aid partners do the same, so today is a good gauge.”

More than 200 people volunteering for this disaster drill. Some playing the victims, while others playing the role of helper. SRQ does this every three years. It’s something that has to be done to keep their operator certificate.

“It’s a good opportunity for everyone to get together, work together,” said Sasada. “See what works and make improvements on things that didn’t work, it’s definitely a good exercise.”