by Katelyn Heck, 13WMAZ.com
- Macon-Bibb County officials plan a June 13 simulated bomb event at the Middle Ga. Regional Airport.
- Airport manager Doug Faour says the bomb drill will be a change of pace for officials.
- The drill involves 20 agencies and will have over 100 volunteer "victims" rushed to hospitals.
The Middle Georgia Regional Airport will explode June 13 with police officers, firefighters and volunteers all handling a simulated bomb scenario.
"The most likely event would be a plane crash, so typically airports plan for that on a routine basis. But we felt it was important to change it up a little bit and look at other areas that we should be prepared for," says airport manager Doug Faour.
Faour says he's using recent events like the Boston Marathon bombing as learning tools.
"You may think you're in a remote location where nothing will ever happen," he explains. "But you have to have the mindset that the potential of something happening could always occur, and you have to be prepared for it. I think that's the lesson that we got from the recent events. We must always be prepared. We cannot get lax."
Over 20 agencies sat down at the airport Monday to discuss their emergency protocols, but Faour says actions speak louder than words.
"You won't necessarily get to sit down and think everything through. You have to react. So making it as real as possible helps you to react in the nature that you would if there really was a tragic event to take place," says Faour.
Over 100 victims of the fake blast will be rushed to Macon hospitals or put in the care of Red Cross volunteers, while other agencies manage the scene.
Even after Monday's discussions, there are still a few question left to answer before the training exercise.
"What do you do with the families who are coming to look for their loved ones? Who takes care of the overnight hotel stays should they need to be here for a few days? Whose responsibility is that?" says Donna Lee with the American Red Cross.
Faour says additional planning help determine that and what other resources they may need before the training.
People in surrounding areas may hear a loud noise on the morning of the drill, but Faour says that's just the blast from the mock explosion. Faour adds that the airport will run its normal operations that day, so travelers will not have to change their plans.