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Wednesday disaster drill will affect airport traffic

What may qualify as Cayman’s largest disaster drill will affect traffic on Wednesday (25 May) around the Owen Roberts International Airport and nearby areas.

Previous exercises, designed to test the coordination of various response agencies, involved one to two dozen simulated victims. This time, organisers are planning to handle approximately 100 victims in order to simulate the crash of a 737 aircraft, a type commonly used by commercial flights.

The drill will determine whether responders with airport, police, fire, medical and other services are able to quickly communicate, coordinate, cooperate and achieve necessary goals in a life-or-death timeframe.

“All of these entities must work together to perform a synchronized response to an emergency situation,” said Andrew McLaughlin, Safety Management Officer for the Cayman Islands Airports Authority. “In the first moments of an aircraft crash, you’ll decide who’s going to live and who’s going to die.”

Previous exercises at the cricket pitch adjacent to the airport lasted two to three hours, but the increased number of victims will likely mean the event, which starts at 10:00am, will run until approximately 4:00pm. Roads will be affected by responding emergency vehicles around the pitch, the airport and the farmers market. The public is advised to either stay clear of the area or to use patience, as would be needed in the event of an actual catastrophe.

About the author

Patrick Kreitlow

Patrick Kreitlow

Pat Kreitlow joined the Cayman 27 staff in October 2015. For nearly a decade, Pat was a familiar presence in living rooms across western Wisconsin where he was a reporter and nightly news anchor at WEAU-TV. He later served his neighbors as a state senator. When he and his wife Sharry became “empty nesters,” they moved to Grand Cayman in early 2014. They have two daughters and two grandsons.

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