Yakima Airport simulates large airplane crash - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Airport simulates large airplane crash

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Yakima, WASH.--The Yakima Airport simulated an airplane crash Saturday to test the emergency plan and the response systems of several different agencies.

They had over 100 volunteer actors playing the victims, which made it more like a real experience for the emergency responders.

The exercise involved the crash of a commercial aircraft and a military helicopter on the airport's property.

Over 20 different agencies responded, including Yakima Fire and Police Departments, Sheriff's Search and Rescue Program and several ambulance companies.

The purpose of this large drill is to evaluate the airport's emergency plan.

"Our folks here locally will go through that {the results}, dissect it, find the things that need to be tweaked in our plan and make those improvements," said Randy Beehler, the Public Information Officer for the exercise.

Deputy Chief Mark Soptich of the Yakima Fire Department said, "This is good training for us because it gives us the opportunity to practice our mass casualty emergencies, and how we would transport patients to the hospital."

A full scale exercise like this one is required once every 3 years for the Yakima Airport to maintain its certification as a commerical airport.