Mock Plane Crash: Students Learn About First Responders

Plane down! Plane down! Criminal justice students in Ray Greco’s Terrorism and Homeland Security class recently participated in a full-scale airport exercise with Brown County Emergency Management. The class provided over 72 hours of service through this applied learning project and learned a thing or two about how emergency responders prepare for a potential disaster at the airport.

 The main focus of this class project included:

1. As the plane crash was undetermined and possibly a terrorist incident, students learned firsthand the role emergency responders to include fire and rescue as well as local and federal law enforcement agencies.

2. Students observed the use of specialized equipment and formation of the incident command structure to address this incident.

3. Students observed firsthand the response of fire personnel from multiple agencies and how they would address burning wreckage from a plane. Students also had the opportunity to observe and participate in the handling of injured passengers and the triage system where responders had to identify the most injured to the least injured. Students discussed the complexity and enormity of the crime scene for law enforcement. Especially seeing at times how it can be difficult to quickly determine who has priority when dealing with confused passengers.

4. Students participated as role players for local, state and federal first responders during a plane crash. Students filled the roles of the dead and injured passengers as well as grieving relatives.

“Emergency management personnel were grateful for the support from all student participants from Globe University as they were essential to the testing for capabilities of the various departments and agencies involved,” Ray Greco, criminal justice instructor said.