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Airport Stages Plane Crash Drill

Firefighters, Paramedics Gauged on Readiness and Response

Paul Wellman

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY: A plane-crash emergency drill was staged Tuesday morning at the Santa Barbara Airport, where dozens of firefighters and paramedics rescued 70 actors with make-believe injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening. An MTD bus fitted with smoke machines doubled as the downed plane. Here, Montecito Fire Captain Evan Skei tends to Bonnie Elliott, a regular Community Emergency Response Team volunteer. Her wheelchair for the day added a layer of unpredictability for first responders, who were gauged on their readiness and quick thinking. The FAA requires the full-scale drill, the most comprehensive of its kind in the country, every three years.

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