BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WBOY) — The North Central West Virginia Airport has plans to host an emergency response exercise this coming Wednesday, Oct. 4.
The Bridgeport Office of Emergency Management shared the announcement via a Facebook page on Thursday “so people would know that if there’s a large presence at the airport, it’s just a drill, nothing bad’s going on,” according to Timothy Curry, the Director of Emergency Management for the City of Bridgeport.
As part of the exercise, the airport will simulate an airplane accident that results in multiple people sustaining injuries. Personnel at the airport and emergency responders from around the county will be incorporated into the exercise and will play a key role in diffusing the scenario.
EMS professionals throughout Harrison County and Bridgeport will be on the scene to provide aid to the injured individuals and transport them off to the United Hospital Center.
This drill is a requirement of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), that must be conducted once every three years. However, Bridgeport’s Emergency Management Office tries to hold a full-scale exercise once a year to test out current emergency response plans that are in place.
The airport and the City of Bridgeport both have emergency response plans already in place. “So we put those plans into action during these drills and see what works and what doesn’t,” Curry said.
Based on the results from this drill, the Office of Emergency Management will be able to evaluate if changes need to be made to these response plans, and will “go back to the drawing board” to establish new plans if necessary.
“It gets everybody together, you train together, you know, you wanna train how you’re gonna fight when something bad does happen. So, it’s important to actually do a full-scale exercise and see how everything comes together so you can make changes or adjustments as needed. So when a real emergency happens, everybody’s prepared,” Curry added.
The emergency responders that will be on-site during this event are the Bridgeport Police Department, Bridgeport Fire Department, Clarksburg Fire Department, Harrison County Emergency Squad, Harrison County Emergency Management, and the City of Bridgeport Emergency Management.
Curry also said that during the exercise, there will be plenty of emergency responders still available throughout the county to respond to any situations that may arise elsewhere.