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Communicating During an Emergency

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS 2/ FOX 28)-Every 3 years the Eastern Iowa Airport holds a live drill to prepare first responders for real-life emergencies.

Practice that emergency responders said equips them for the worst.

"We hope it never happens but it's always good to be prepared if this did happen," Amber Herboldsheimer said.

She works for Area Ambulance and said these drills are very important for the Eastern Iowa Airport.

Although it's a smaller airport, it's still no excuse to practice these drills.

"Cedar Rapids is a busy airport and an alternative airport in the airwaves," Linn County Emergency Management Director Mike Goldberg said.

He means that EIA is an airport where planes in danger could be redirected.

This makes it necessary for Corridor emergency responders to learn now what they may need to know later.

The last disaster like this happened almost 25 years ago in Sioux City when United Airlines flight 232's engine failed, causing the plane to make an emergency landing at very high speeds.

Emergency responders hope that won't happen here but now they're ready.

"Anytime we do this, we're going to learn something," Goldberg said.

And for this drill, they focused on the best way to relay information.

Codes are one way to communicate in an emergency.

"We have to determine what they are," Herboldsheimer said when explaining the different color codes first responders use based on the victims' injuries.

For example, a green bracelet means the victim is walking but wounded, where black is deceased.

First responders said that working together to seperate victims based on their injuries speeds up response time.

"It's good to have good communication with agencies," Airport Director Tim Bradshaw said.

"Communication is really important," Goldberg said.

A tool to help them prepare for a real life disaster.

Both airport officials and emergency responders plan to work on a post emergency plan to deal with crisis aftermath.

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