Crews hold disaster drill at RST - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Crews hold disaster drill at RST

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Emergency crews held federally mandated airport emergency training at Rochester International Airport.

A mock accident Thursday consisted of a plane carrying inmates sliding off of the runway and crashing into another plane. In this case the plane's pilot reported having trouble, so the Rochester Fire Department and other emergency responders were on hand.

U.S. passenger airports are required to carry out fullscale exercises every three years. These exercises involve everyone that would be involved in a real emergency, so while all this was going on at the airport, area hospitals were getting ready to receive the acting victims.

"Each time we sit down together we learn something and so we've taken great strides, whether it's communication or staging or all the various entities involved," said Deputy Airport Director Kurt Claussen.

"It's very seldom that we can get all of those agencies together and learn how we can better work together more efficiently," said Capt. Ken Dose of the Rochester Fire Department.

To put this into perspective, a house fire burns at about 1200 degrees, while jet fuel burns at about 2000 degrees. This type of exercise helps firefighters gain crucial experience other than what they deal with on a daily basis.

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