Embry-Riddle, UCF Involved in DAB Drill

Photo Credit: Billy Nguyen / Firefighters work tirelessly to extinguish flames and control the situation at Daytona International Airport during a live drill, simulating an aircraft overunning the runway, possibly due to terrorism.

Jaclyn Wiley/News Editor

The crash event drill that took place on Wednesday, March 2, at Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) was an FAA-required activity that tests the airport’s readiness for an emergency. The point of this drill was to prepare emergency responders for the event of an aircraft crash at DAB and to evaluate the airport’s response to the events to see if they were in line with FAA regulations. Multiple agencies were involved with the event.

Embry-Riddle was involved with the event as well, and in multiple ways; WIKD 102.5 provided sound equipment used by the drill announcers, and some of the participants in the drill were Embry-Riddle students or professors. Anthony Brickhouse, Associate Professor of Aerospace and Occupational Safety, along with ERAU student Nicholas Cubaletti, acted as the NTSB investigators for the drill.

ERAU Campus Security also played a role in the drill. Chad Bullock, Emergency Management Coordinator for Campus Safety and Security, helped to organize the Embry-Riddle viewing area, as well as other things. When asked how Embry-Riddle Campus Safety and Security would respond in the case of a real accident, Bullock responded, “Our officers would probably do the initial response because we would be on patrol when we would hear things going on. We would also hear it over the radio because we monitor Daytona Beach Police Department, so we would hear activity and our officers would respond to assist in the initial response as much as possible. Once the main responders from the county and city come in, we would actually back out and let them take it over. We would go back to protect our campus.”

“We would definitely put out a RAVE to notify the campus community of anything that’s going on… We would ask everyone to stay in their location, not come over [to the crash] and impede in any emergency response, but not a lockdown. The Flightline would definitely be shut down, in a real event. In a real event, I don’t think the campus would feel any great impact from anything.”

“In a real event, our officers would probably be staged back on Richard Petty and be keeping anyone from heading this way. They would not be allowed to come up here and take pictures like they are for this drill. They wouldn’t be allowed this kind of access.”

The UCF Daytona Beach Campus Nursing Program was represented at the drill by a group of student volunteers that were led by Nursing Instructor Debra DiChiara. DiChiara and the drill organizers worked together to create a valuable learning experience for her students, and for the emergency responders since the “victims” understood the injuries that they would theoretically have.

DiChiara described the collaboration between the Nursing Program and the drill participant organizations. “For months, we have been meeting with EMS, and they’ve been meeting with the students, and giving them instructions on the type of injuries they would have… and how those injuries would appear, what kind of symptoms people would have if they had those injuries. They’ve done some research about that. They’ve also been assessing what type of response there is to those injuries, whenever the emergency medical services people arrive.

During the drill, the students, “all had moulage on and were playing the part of actual victims in the event of an actual emergency like this did occur. They all had roles they had to play so that the emergency services teams could have it as real as possible, in the event that this actually occurred.” Moulage is the special makeup that movies and drills use to make injuries look real. In the case of the drill, the moulage helps to make the exercise more realistic. There were also some Embry-Riddle students acting as survivors.

This is the first time the UCF Nursing program has participated in an exercise like this at DAB. DiChiara expressed her desire to partner up with the airport again for another event like this in the future.

The next live drill at DAB will take place in 2019. For more information about DAB, and the event visit their website at www.flydaytonafirst.com.