Disaster drill at Fresno Yosemite International Airport had emergency crews in full response mode

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It was a drill, but the response is very real. An emergency on board a flight landing at Fresno International Airport-- with several passengers injured.

Some in critical condition taken by ambulance, others were flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital and some didn't make it. This is just a simulation, but one taken very seriously.

Fresno Yosemite's Media and Public Relations Officer Vikkie Calderon said, "This is an opportunity for the airport, our airline partners, airline stakeholders, airport stakeholders, and all of our mutual-aid responders to practice emergency preparedness in an airport environment."

It's a requirement done every three years and it is made as realistic as possible. Agencies work together, getting victims help and putting out flames, as well as handling the public and media.

"You go through those paces. You go through the exercises. You learn, lessons learned, what can we do better going forward," Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis said.

Each time they practice it's different-- and the lessons learned also change.

Donis said, "I think communication gets improved through these exercises. I think our positioning and how we are going to respond in a unified command, with so many agencies, there's going to be a unified command. It's not just one agency that will evacuate patients, notify the FAA, put the fire out etc."

After the simulation, they did a quick debrief, but later on this month, they will have a more in-depth conversation about what worked and what they can improve on.
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