RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- News 4 teamed up with the Reno-Tahoe International Airport on Thursday to prepare for disaster and breaking news situations. The full scale disaster drill involved a simulated commercial jet crash that put our region's first responders on high alert.
Airport officials said we all need drills like Thursday's to prepare for disasters, but they hope such an event never happens. "We’ve all gone through enough crises in this region the past few years, that our entire community knows how important this type of training is," said Reno-Tahoe International Airport spokesperson Brain Kulpin.
A simulated commercial jet crash in Reno tested the skills of our region's first responders. Several agencies including fire departments, police, and the media were able to see what a real life tragedy would be like.
"Cooperation from every entity in our community and that’s what it’s all about," said Kulpin. "It’s about trying to make our emergency response that much better for the sake of our community."
Airport officials said the full scale disaster drill is a chance for local agencies to see what they need to work on. "It tests every aspect of what we do at the airport, but it also tests the first responders from throughout the region, it tests the hospitals, it tests the National Guard, you name it, that’s why this is such an important drill," said Kulpin.
The simulated crash happened around 8:30 a.m. near the airport at 1800 Peckham Lane. More than 80 volunteers played crash victims with some showing realistic cuts, broken limbs and other injuries.
The F.A.A. requires the airport perform this drill once every three years, but airport officials said Reno-Tahoe goes above the requirements. "Most airports don’t have a family assistance center to help out the family and friends of victims in an air crash," said Kulpin. "We've been doing that for 10 years."
Thursday's drill also gave News 4 the chance to practice our breaking news skills. Our team learned a few things we need to work on for a real breaking news situation.