First responders participate in live emergency training exercise

Local

Preparing for the worst ahead of a disaster is the aim for Pitt-Greenville Airport’s Emergency Disaster Drill. 

P.G.V. conducted a live disaster drill on airport grounds. 

The exercise is required by Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The drill included a number of emergency response organizations, including; Pitt County Emergency Management, Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, Greenville Police Department (GPD), Greenville Fire/Rescue, Staton House Fire Department, Vidant Hospital, The American Red Cross, the Transportation Security Administration, and additional surrounding fire and EMS departments as needed. 

The exercise scenario centered on a simulated passenger plane crash, with multiple casualties and at least one fatality.

There were no scheduled passenger flights during the time of the exercise and no major impacts are expected to the regular commercial activities of PGV.

However, surrounding community members and passersby should expect to see emergency response vehicles operating in and around the airport campus during that period. GPD will establish and maintain traffic control checkpoints at all entrances to PGV for the duration of the exercise.

In an emergency situation, it can all come down to minutes or even seconds. 

The goal is to get better and correct mistakes that could be the difference between life and death. 

Jim Mcarthur is the director of Pitt County’s Emergency Management Services. 

“The scenario includes managing a fire and some other challenges that may occur while out in the field,” said McArthur. “We want to determine rapidly how to get people off the scene and to the hospital as quickly as possible.” 

McArthur says the practice is vital for all agencies. 

“It’s not something we handle every day, working with multiple patients,” said McArthur. “We want to help each agency better so that in a real-life scenario, they are more prepared.” 

Several volunteers were on hand to help the first responders train for a dangerous situation. 

Bill Hopper is the Executive Director of Pitt-Greenville Airport. 

“We want to test our communications and test our response,” said Hopper. “We’re practicing and we’re getting to know the system as well as we can.” 

The next federal aviation administration drill is set for 2022. 

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