***This story contains graphic images of simulated injury that may be difficult for some***
Sirens rang out and victims cried for help as smoke billowed high above the training site Thursday as some 200 rookie first responders tested their training during a mock crash at the Edmonton International Airport.
Playing the role of severely injured crash survivors was the drama class from Leduc Composite Senior High. EIA Fire Chief Burl Hamm tells says that the students were thrilled to be decked out in what’s called ‘moulage’ and as you can see, the effect is both chilling and gory.
“Basically doctoring them up to look like they have major injuries, and that went over huge. Both for them and the first responders that were dealing with the incident itself.”
Hamm says there was one unique addition to the drills, this year they added a social media quotient.
“Typical to aircraft crashes in other municipalities around North America that has been growing as one of the areas that adds some complexity to airport operations and media operations from the airport.”
While firefighters and EMS crews looked after the ‘crash victims,’ officials ran thru social media drills like responding to information requests from family and sending out information to keep the public safe and informed.
Hamm says the exercise was a complete success.