HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Huntsville International Airport needs volunteers for an upcoming disaster drill.
The drill, scheduled from 8 a.m.-noon on Thursday, September 8, will be a full-scale drill, simulating a plane crash that will involve first responders of all kinds.
While specific details of the drill are usually kept on a need-to-know basis to provide the most realistic experience for first responders and volunteers, News 19 covered HSV’s last drill in 2019, which simulated the crash of a McDonnell Douglas MD-80. HEMSI, Port of Huntsville Police, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Huntsville Fire and Madison Fire were all part of the 2019 drill, among other partner agencies.
The FAA requires the airport to hold the full-scale drill every three years. The drill tests emergency responses by fire and police, emergency medical staff, hospital casualty plans, mutual aid, communications, and incident command. Participants will include area mutual aid partners, as well as Port of Huntsville Police and Huntsville Airport fire.
Masks are not required, but volunteers are welcome to wear them if needed; Huntsville International Airport PR Manager Mary Swanstrom told News 19 most of the exercise will be outside, with the briefing and lunch taking place in an open-air hangar.
These community volunteers add an invaluable component to the mock disaster drill: they portray live action victims who can add realism to a scenario that we hope we never have to experience.Huntsville International Airport PR Manager Mary Swanstrom
Volunteers for 2022’s drill must be at least 18 years old and send their full name, email, and phone number to SAaron@hsvairport.org. Volunteers will receive a free souvenir T-shirt, lunch, and authentic theatrical makeup for participating as a victim. Volunteers will arrive at 7 a.m. to receive their drill persona, including a list of injuries, as well as theatrical makeup. Volunteers should be sure to wear clothes they don’t mind getting dirty or painted, and that are comfortable in outdoor temperatures. Hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses are recommended, and comfort breaks are allowed.