First responders participate in mass casualty exercise

The 121st Civil Engineering Fire Department begins their initial response to a full-scale, mass casualty emergency preparedness exercise June 14, 2016 at Rickenbacker International Airport. The exercise was held to test and evaluate emergency response plans of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, first response emergency services, hospitals, community non-profits and other local emergency preparedness organizations in the event of a major disaster. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

The 121st Civil Engineering Fire Department begins their initial response to a full-scale, mass casualty emergency preparedness exercise June 14, 2016 at Rickenbacker International Airport. The exercise was held to test and evaluate emergency response plans of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, first response emergency services, hospitals, community non-profits and other local emergency preparedness organizations in the event of a major disaster. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

Fire Lt. Lewis Garver, with the 121st Civil Engineering Fire Department, begins the initial response to a full-scale, mass casualty emergency preparedness exercise June 14, 2016 at Rickenbacker International Airport. The exercise was held to test and evaluate emergency response plans of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, first response emergency services, hospitals, community non-profits and other local emergency preparedness organizations in the event of a major disaster. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

Fire Lt. Lewis Garver, with the 121st Civil Engineering Fire Department, begins the initial response to a full-scale, mass casualty emergency preparedness exercise June 14, 2016 at Rickenbacker International Airport. The exercise was held to test and evaluate emergency response plans of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, first response emergency services, hospitals, community non-profits and other local emergency preparedness organizations in the event of a major disaster. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

A U.S. Air Force Firefighter, with the 121st Civil Engineering Fire Department, tags an injured passenger according to medical assessment during a full-scale, mass casualty emergency preparedness exercise June 14, 2016 at Rickenbacker International Airport. The exercise was held to test and evaluate emergency response plans of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, first response emergency services, hospitals, community non-profits and other local emergency preparedness organizations in the event of a major disaster. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

A U.S. Air Force Firefighter, with the 121st Civil Engineering Fire Department, tags an injured passenger according to medical assessment during a full-scale, mass casualty emergency preparedness exercise June 14, 2016 at Rickenbacker International Airport. The exercise was held to test and evaluate emergency response plans of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, first response emergency services, hospitals, community non-profits and other local emergency preparedness organizations in the event of a major disaster. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

Local first responders tag an injured passenger according to medical assessment during a full-scale, mass casualty emergency preparedness exercise June 14, 2016 at Rickenbacker International Airport. The exercise was held to test and evaluate emergency response plans of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, first response emergency services, hospitals, community non-profits and other local emergency preparedness organizations in the event of a major disaster. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

Local first responders tag an injured passenger according to medical assessment during a full-scale, mass casualty emergency preparedness exercise June 14, 2016 at Rickenbacker International Airport. The exercise was held to test and evaluate emergency response plans of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, first response emergency services, hospitals, community non-profits and other local emergency preparedness organizations in the event of a major disaster. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

RICKENBACKER AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ohio -- The 121st Air Refueling Wing participated in a full-scale, mass casualty emergency preparedness exercise June 14, 2016 at Rickenbacker International Airport.

The exercise was held to test and evaluate emergency response plans of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, first response emergency services, hospitals, community non-profits and other local emergency preparedness organizations in the event of a major disaster.

More than 125 individuals volunteered to simulate injured aircraft passengers, to create a more realistic exercise environment.

The exercise began at approximately 11 a.m. with the initial response by the 121st Civil Engineering Fire Department. They were soon followed by other local first responders.

The 121st CE Airmen put out simulated debris fire, tagged injured passengers according to a medical assessment and worked with other first responders to get them all to safety.

All participating services worked together to assess the emergency situation and execute the plan.

"It was a fantastic learning experience and was great to seize this opportunity that only occurs every three years," said Lt. Col. Tommy Calhoun, inspector general with the 121st ARW. "This is just the start of joint exercises for our wing, we plan on exercising with all of our mutual aid agencies in the near future."