ROMULUS (WWJ/AP) – Detroit Metropolitan Airport hosted a plane crash drill, allowing crews to put the airport’s emergency response procedures to the test.

Dozens of firefighters, emergency medical personnel and others converged on a site in Romulus Wednesday for the simulation.

Wayne County Airport Authority Director of Emergency Management David DiMaria says the test allows Metro to demonstrate it is a “safe and secure airport.”

DiMaria said, although he’s had years to prepare, these exercises cannot be taken lightly.

“With any event there’s always surprises that come up,” he said. “You think you have it all on paper and then there’s just that little piece you don’t find. And I’ll tell you, with any exercise communication is the hardest thing to get done.”

Wednesday’s scenario involved a medium-sized aircraft crash. Fire trucks and other emergency vehicles with their lights flashing arrived at the site, and crews tended to dummies situated on the ground.

The airport authority’s specially trained Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting team was joined by emergency personnel from area agencies that normally would respond to an aircraft crash.

“These (simulations) are critical,” said Captain Brad Smith of the Dearborn Fire Department. “I mean…if we don’t practice, and we just wait for something to happen, our experience is going to be poorly when we actually do it.”

Metro airport is required by federal regulations to hold such an exercise every three years.

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