First responders practice airplane crash emergency drill at Pitt-Greenville Airport

Published: Mar. 21, 2019 at 9:56 PM EDT
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A high number of emergency responders flooded an Eastern Carolina airport Thursday, but there was no cause for alarm.

The Pitt-Greenville Airport hosted an emergency disaster drill with multiple agencies to practice what to do in the event of a plane crash. The airport does these drills once every three years and it's required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

First responders from all over Pitt County participated in the drill which gives them the chance to practice unique life saving skills.

"It's not something that we do every day--working with multiple patients [and a] sort of out of the ordinary type of vehicle," said Interim Pitt County Emergency Management Director Jim McArthur.

The drill simulated a plane crash and volunteers played passengers with a range of injuries, even fatalities. Emergency had to determine how to treat each simulated patient on scene. PGV Airport Executive Director Bill Hopper says the drill gives teams a chance to make mistakes and then correct them.

"We've got a certain plan that we have. We're gonna test it, we're gonna critique it and then we're gonna be prepared should the real thing every happen," said Hopper.

Hopper says in his career, he's never seen a real life emergency to the scale practiced Thursday and hopefully the airport never will.

Vidant Medical Center participated in the drill as well, practicing care techniques for the simulated crash survivors.

No flights were scheduled during that drill and the airport says there were no major impacts on operations at PGV.