MYR hosts large-scale emergency response training

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:21 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) -- The training exercise simulates what would happen if an aircraft were to crash on the runway at Myrtle Beach International Airport giving first responders real-life situations on how to respond if something catastrophic were to ever happen.

“It’s vital it gives you that muscle memory,” said Deputy Fire Chief, Patrick O’Leary.

From a smoking fuselage to a complete aircraft evacuation first responders from across Horry County are tested through this FAA safety training.

“It’s good to get feedback and work with each other,” said Horry County Emergency Management Director, Randy Webster.

To make the training more realistic volunteers like Barbara Prescop were used to act out patient situations first responders may see if a plane needed to be evacuated.

“I think the more real we can make it really helps them,” said Barbara Prescop.

Airport officials say the safety of all passengers coming through MYR is a top priority and this training keeps them prepared for a wide range of situations.

“If we just used inflatable dummies or paper patients it’s not as effective to the response like we get with these volunteers,” said O’Leary.

As the airport continues to grow and more flights are coming in and out of MYR -- the risk of an emergency also grows.

Webster says while there hasn’t been any major commercial airline accident -- these trainings also help with smaller private plane crashes like the crash in Horry County last week.

“The risk is always here and the more flights that come in the risk is even greater,” said Webster.

The training exercise is only required by the FAA every three years, the next large-scale training will be held in 2025.