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TLR partners with community in mass-casualty exercise

Firemen put out a simulated aircraft fire.

Firefighters from the Little Rock Fire Department put out a simulated aircraft fire at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, April 23, 2019. Team Little Rock Airmen participated as both actors and observers in support of the airport’s triennial mass-casualty exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)

An Airman raises his hand in a crowd.

A U.S. Air Force Airman raises his hand in a crowd of volunteers before performing the role of an actor in an exercise at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, April 23, 2019. Team Little Rock Airmen participated as both actors and observers in support of the airport’s triennial mass casualty exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

Volunteers act as crash victims at a mass-casualty exercise.

Students from Arkansas Tech University simulate the chaos after an aircraft accident at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, April 23, 2019. Team Little Rock Airmen participated as both actors and observers in support of the airport’s triennial mass-casualty exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)

An Airman acts as a crash victim at a mass-casualty exercise.

A U.S. Air Force Airman from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, receives medical help after a simulated aircraft accident at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, April 23, 2019. Team Little Rock Airmen participated as both actors and observers in support of the airport’s triennial mass-casualty exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)

Firemen participate in a mass casualty exercise.

Firefighters from the Little Rock Fire Department act as first responders during a simulated aircraft accident at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, April 23, 2019. Team Little Rock Airmen participated as both actors and observers in support of the airport’s triennial mass casualty exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON NATIONAL AIRPORT, Ark. --

Airmen from Little Rock Air Force Base worked alongside 90 first responders and nearly 100 volunteers to simulate an aircraft accident and response at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, April 23, 2019.

Team Little Rock Airmen participated as both actors and observers in support of the airport’s Federal Aviation Administration required triennial mass-casualty exercise. These exercises are used to provide travelers the safest measures possible during chaotic situations.

“Every three years we bring not only emergency responders that are on the airport, but responders from outside the airport to work together,” said Shane Carter, Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport public affairs director. “We have evaluators that are out on the scene who observe and come together at the end of the day to ensure everything was done correctly and the goal of saving lives was accomplished.”

Some Airmen were able to observe and provide feedback on how to improve during an immediate response while working alongside community first responders.

“Being able to be a part of the exercise and witness how they perform, is a great opportunity for all involved,” said Master Sgt. Duane Harris, 19th Maintenance Group isochronal production supervisor.

Much like U.S. Air Force exercises, there were a lot of moving parts requiring different teams to work together to accomplish the mission at hand such as: Little Rock Fire Department exercising their ability to put out a jet fire, the police responding alongside emergency medical services to provide simulated medical treatment ensuring the safety of the crash victims, and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management setting up a mobile command center to expedite communication between the different units.

“In an actual situation we will need the response teams of our partners throughout the community,” Carter said. “Thankfully, we have a great relationship with Little Rock Air Force Base. During emergency activities LRAFB is able to help us, and we can help them as well. These mutual-aid exercises benefit everyone involved.”

This exercise was a testament to how partnerships, both internal and with local communities, are integral to building strong, interoperable working relationships.

“Our Airmen constantly train to be prepared for every situation that could come about,” Harris said. “It’s a great opportunity for the Airmen to volunteer in this exercise and share their knowledge and experience.”

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