Mock disaster, emergency preparedness drill at LC Regional Airport (with video)

By By John Guidroz / American Press

A simulated airplane crash was one of several scenarios that took place during a mock disaster and emergency preparedness

drill at Lake Charles Regional Airport on Thursday.

Heath Allen, airport executive director, said the Federal Aviation Administration requires commercial airports to conduct

a full-scale exercise every three years to test security and response efficiency.

“Hopefully, we don’t have any incident at our airport,” he said. “However, we always have to be prepared for that to happen.

The whole goal is to protect people and property.”

Several local emergency response agencies participated in the exercise, which began late Wednesday. Allen said the scenario

revolved around a “disgruntled employee ... gaining access to the airfield.”

Another scenario included state police disarming a bomb at the south side of the airport terminal. “It was kind of a worst-case

scenario,” Allen said.

More than 50 people volunteered as victims for the drill, he said. One of them was Paul Jasmine, who lost part of his left

leg two years ago while serving in Afghanistan after he stepped on an improvised explosive device.

He said drills like these are necessary so that emergency responders are prepared for a real crisis.

“It’s good to actually do live events like this to learn how to truly react to a situation,” Jasmine said. “You never know

how you’re going to react until you actually have to do it.”