Mock plane crash at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport helps first responders practice for emergencies

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- More than 100 emergency responders from Milwaukee County showed up to Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport on Thursday, May 19 for what looked like a crash. 

It was a mock-up crash meant to imitate a plane filled with passengers crashing. 

"Responders have no idea what the scenario is," said Kevin Doyne with the Milwaukee Fire Department.

Police, fire crews, Red Cross officials and Flight for Life were among the 18 municipalities that participated. On the runway, volunteers acted as real mothers and children with blood and screams. 

"They’ll simulate that they’re putting the plane fire out, you’ll see them spray water and then they’ll go in and do the rescue of dummies inside," said Doyne. 

While it looked real, with dozens of ambulances and fire trucks, it was only a recreation. Officials intended for it to evoke the same urgent response an actual crash would. Teams practiced how they would assist in the crash, from those helping injured people on the runway to those in the command center. They say the training also helps with large incidents outside of the airport.

"[An] Amtrak derail or bus tip-over. They’d do the exact same thing that we’re doing here," said Doyne. 

The FAA requires the county practice every three years. Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport currently practices every two years. While each group may also practice within their department, this allows officials across the county to train together. 


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