Lincoln Airport hosts plane crash disaster simulation

On Tuesday, Lincoln Airport hosted an emergency training exercise, an airplane crash disaster simulation.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – On Tuesday, Lincoln Airport hosted an emergency training exercise, an airplane crash disaster simulation.

Here was the scenario: An incoming plane inadvertently bumps into a fuel truck that results in a fuel spill. As the passengers evacuate the aircraft, the aircraft catches on fire.

First responders were tasked with putting out the fire and attending to injured passengers, played by Union College students. Jim Davidsaver, the director of Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Management, says the simulation helps to ensure emergency crews are prepared to respond to any situation.

“It’s a situation where we hope nothing like this ever happens, but we want to be as prepared as possible if and when it does,” Davidsaver said.

Lincoln Airport and local first responders work together on a series of smaller tabletop workshops, where they discuss how they would respond to different incidents. LNK is required to have a full-fledged real-life simulation once every three years.

Lincoln Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Tim Linke says that the exercise is useful for first responders to practice communication skills, being efficient with time, and responding to surprises that may occur in a live situation.

“When you’ve got something that’s going to be a little bit larger-scale like this, this sort of helps us identify the places where we can really sand down the rough edges and communicate better and work together as a team,” Linke said.

The Union College students who played the role of injured passengers are in the school’s International Relief and Rescue program. Jordyn Hammond, a senior at Union, says the exercise was good, practical experience for her and her classmates.

“I would describe it as very educational to see everything going on and just the planning and preparation that went into something that would be a real life scenario,” Hammond said. “It’s really cool to see everyone working together like that.”

Months of planning goes into a simulation like the one held Tuesday. Davidsaver says insights gleaned from the simulation help first responders optimize their emergency response.

“If we identify a gap, do we need to improve our training? Do we need to get additional equipment or resources to deal with a real-world emergency? These exercises give us the best-case scenario to answer those questions,” Davidsaver said.

Categories: Lancaster, Nebraska News, News