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'It's better to be prepared': Kansas City International Airport conducts aircraft emergency drill

KCI Emergency Drill
Posted at 3:44 PM, May 09, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City International Airport conducted its first full-scale aircraft emergency drill since the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday.

The scaled-back drill in 2021 used mannequins as victim actors due to the pandemic, but Thursday, dozens of volunteers sprawled out on the KCI tarmac to give first responders the opportunity for crucial practice in case of an aircraft emergency.

“We’re getting all of our partners together; we have volunteers here to simulate an aircraft accident and how we’re going to respond," Kansas City Aviation Director Melissa Cooper said.

Members of the Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department and other local agencies responded to the scene.

The FAA requires commercial airports to conduct this drill every three years.

Volunteers acted as if they had spinal injuries, scrapes, sprained ankles, broken arms and more.

“Safety accidents can definitely, you never know when they’re going to happen, and it’s better to be prepared," said Roy Bowman, who works ramp control at KCI and volunteered to act as a victim for the drill.

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Heather Jones

Another volunteer, Heather Jones, is part of the Shawnee Community Emergency Response Team, so she understands how important this practice is for first responders.

“It’s my part in giving back, they give everything, right? They’re available whenever anybody needs anything, so, just being here and giving back," she said.

Michael McCunniff
Michael McCunniff

Volunteer Michael McCunniff created a backstory for his role.

“No blood and guts or anything like that so, I’m just going to tell them I’m a pilot and I crushed my legs," he said.