Photo Courtesy: McCarran International Airport/Christine Crews

McCarran Airport Prepares For Possible Mass Casualty Scenario

The Exercise Simulated An Emergency Incident Near One Of McCarran’s Busiest Runways

September 13, 2018 - 3:57 pm

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) - The Clark County Department of Aviation will conduct its 2018 Triennial Emergency Preparedness Exercise at McCarran International Airport on the morning of Thursday, September 13.

The realistic exercise, which took more than a year to plan, will simulate an emergency incident near one of McCarran’s busiest runways using a “Moon Ray Airlines” Boeing 737 passenger jet. Local fire, police and rescue personnel will coordinate their response with airport personnel just as they would during a real-world event. Additionally, ambulances and a rescue helicopter will be used in the drill to transport from the scene some victim-actors requiring medical attention.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires most U.S. airports to complete an emergency preparedness exercise once every three years in order to maintain their certification. Smoke, pyrotechnics and a busy on-airport setting will contribute to the realism of the drill. The exercise will feature a progressive scenario that limits participants’ advance knowledge of what’s unfolding around them, a technique that’s meant to improve their ability to react quickly and correctly during a stressful situation.

More than 100 volunteers from the United States Air Force will participate as “victims” in this exercise. Prior to the drill, these volunteers will undergo an extensive moulage - the process of applying make-up and prosthetics to replicate injuries that would likely result from an actual aircraft crash. Medical responders will be asked to triage these patients and determine what care is needed before directing the injured to the appropriate medical facility.

Members of the media are invited to cover the events as they unfold on the airfield and later participate in a mock press conference that will present details of the simulated emergency.