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.