Reagan National holds emergency drill - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Reagan National holds emergency drill

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A plane on fire, dozens of people hurt at the airport and on the Potomac River.

Those events unfolded simultaneously Saturday during an emergency drill at Reagan National Airport.

More than 50 emergency vehicles, from 13 surrounding fire departments responded in real time for the training exercise-- a dress rehearsal for the tragedy you hope never happens.

Priority one was taking care of the dozens of injured "volunteer" patients.

"We want to get the patients out in that golden hour. We want them on an operating table or at a facility within an hour,"Deputy Fire Chief Tim Lasher says.

First responders got to test a new patient identification system. Basically it's a bracelet that follows them from the airport to the hospital.

The injured also get tagged with a placard around their neck to help doctors quickly zero in on what's wrong.

While the injured passengers were being treated, triaged, and transported to the hospital from Reagan National Airport, there was a similar scene on the Potomac River, as part of the same drill.

The spotlight was on communication and coordination between all the agencies involved in the training exercise which is mandated by the FAA to take place every 3 years.

" We wanted to make sure we had a plan to get all the responders here quickly, and on site, so we could evaluate who

needs to respond," Richard Golinowski says. He is the Manager of Airport Operations at Reagan National Airport.

Every second of the four hour simulation will get the once over by evaluators, who will then spell out what went right, what went wrong, and what need to improve.

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