ROCKFORD – The Chicago Rockford International Airport conducted an emergency training and disaster response exercise Saturday, April 30.

The exercises included 150 local volunteers acting as injured passengers.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Transportation and Security Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, local police, hospitals, and Airport Rescue and firefighter (ARFF) crews participated along with Greater Rockford Airport Authority staff.

The exercise simulates the response to a crash between a general aviation aircraft and a passenger aircraft. Numerous emergency vehicles were staged in the airport area.

All of the participating agencies were evaluated by a team of experts at the site. In accordance with FAA requirements, the airport must conduct a full-scale disaster response exercise every three years.

Exercise objectives include testing communications, fire and police response, emergency medical response, multiple casualty hospital plans, interagency coordination and the incident command system.

Commercial and other flights at RFD were not affected and continued to operate as scheduled.

“This event is instrumental in keeping our first responders and staff sharp, prepared, and to learn to work as a team” said RFD Director Mike Dunn. “The best course of action for dealing with a possible incident is to maintain the highest level of preparedness.”

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