APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Appleton International Airport, along with 24 federal and local agencies, practiced a simulated plane crash emergency on Wednesday.

Officials say that the drill mimicked a 186-passenger aircraft crash using Fox Valley Technical College’s Public Safety Training Center’s fixed planes equipped with live fire and smoke.

More than 50 volunteers posed as injured passengers, with emergency participants from the airport, local emergency services, law enforcement services, airlines, and other key partners.

“Above all, our priority is safety of our passengers, crews, employees, and emergency response teams,” said Abe Weber, the Appleton Airport Director. “Investing the time into planning for emergencies under controlled conditions like these allows us to continually improve our response to an actual emergency.”

The drill demonstrated the quick and efficient deployment of emergency response plans which had been in development for more than one year. In addition, participants engaged in simulated evacuation and triage procedures, showing their ability to prioritize the safety and well-being of passengers and crew.

The emergency drill underscored the importance of interagency cooperation, as local law enforcement, fire departments, and medical personnel worked seamlessly with airport officials to manage the simulated crisis.

Officials say that cutting-edge technology and tools were utilized to enhance communication, coordination, and situational awareness during the drill, including the specialized aircraft fire trainer at Fox Valley Technical College.

“It’s essential that emergency response crews are familiar with the airport and have knowledge of the aircraft serving our passengers to respond quickly in the event of an accident,” said Webber. “We hope we never have to use this training in a real emergency, but being prepared is our goal.”