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Idaho Falls Airport conducts safety training


The Idaho Falls Airport conducted a safety drill on Saturday June 15. 

The drill allows emergency personnel to respond to the scenario of a plane crash and help “survivors” with various injuries. 

Community members of various ages had the opportunity to sign up as participants to role-play the passengers. 

They arrived at the airport at 7 am to be debriefed and put on makeup. 

Burns, lacerations, broken bones, and other injuries were simulated using costume makeup.

Jill Egan from Idaho Air and Rescue was one of the volunteers who helped administer the makeup. She said that instead of using glue they were using honey as it would be easier to remove after the drill, and they wouldn't have to worry about any latex allergies.

Some of the participants were not from the Idaho Falls area. 

Skylar Weeks came down from Orem, Utah to participate in the drill with his grandkids.

“I came to be the world's greatest Grandpa,”  Weeks said. “I get to see my grandkids and have a real life experience.” 

The “plane” was a set of school buses parked on the runway, to simulate the plane breaking in half. Boxes, luggage, and various items were placed around the plane as hazards, and orange traffic cones were used to mark “fire.” 

Emergency responders practiced a variety of skills such as using their hoses to put out the fire, removing injured from the scene, and working around those who were "dead." More serious injuries were transported to the hospital so the training could continue in the emergency response unit. 

“We really look for them to access the scene first, before jumping in,” Sargent Josh Deede said. He was one of the evaluators who made sure everything ran smoothly. 

“I think the community support with this was outstanding,” said Eric Grossarth who is the PIO for the city of Idaho Falls. “We needed about 75 volunteers. We had over 100 reach out wanting to help participate. Fortunately aircraft crashes don't happen very often but to have that training is valuable.”

The drill is conducted every three years as required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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Emma Valentine


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