Drill Prepares Sac International For Major Emergencies

Fire trucks, ambulances and sheriff's vehicles on Wednesday raced to the tarmac at Sacramento International Airport, where dozens of "injured" people lay waiting for help.  Those people were fortunately only part an emergency drill.

The drill meant to give first-responders good practice in dealing with a major emergency.   Exercises like this one are conducted every three years to keep SMF in compliance with FAA regulations, but former medic-turned-simulated victim - complete with a pretty realistic looking head wound on Wednesday thanks to a volunteer make-up artist, Brian Vaccarezza, believes it really is good practice for them.  "Back in the early 1980s, the Cleveland schoolyard shooting, I was one of the first to respond to that incident," Vaccarezza said.  "We learned a lot from that, and we've applied a lot of the things we learned."

Photo by Ryan Harris, KFBK

An incident evaluator said one of the first things to break down was communication, but that the crews involved did well with that.

Photo by Ryan Harris, KFBK

Airport Spokesperson Laurie Slothower said she and others in the operations center were focused on logistics and communication.  "I learned a lot," Slothower noted.  "Every exercise we do, we find room for improvement, and today's was certainly no exception."

A pair of buses was used to simulate a crash scene, and those "victims", 5 dead and 71 hurt, were laid out on a taxiway, some hurt so badly they were airlifted to one of four area hospitals.



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