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Plane 'crash' response seems a success

Richard St. Clair screams from a gurney Thursday at Florida Keys Marathon International airport as firefighters from Marathon Fire Rescue transport him to an ambulance.
Richard St. Clair screams from a gurney Thursday at Florida Keys Marathon International airport as firefighters from Marathon Fire Rescue transport him to an ambulance.

A full-scale emergency response exercise at Florida Keys Marathon International Airport Thursday went off without a hitch.

Such an exercise -- it was a simulated airplane crash -- is required every three years by the Federal Aviation Administration for the airport to keep its Part 139 certification. The certification is needed to allow scheduled and unscheduled aircraft with more than 30 seats, according to the FAA.

"It was fun. They told me to be unruly so I was," said Richard St. Clair, who played victim. He lives on Big Pine Key and is in first-responder training for Big Pine Fire Rescue Station 13.

The simulation involved 15 people on small bus as a stand-in for a Gulfstream G550.

Marathon Fire Rescue, Monroe County Fire Rescue, the Florida Highway Patrol, Monroe County Sheriff's Office, American Red Cross, Transportation Security Administration and airport staff were part of the simulation. Fishermen's Community Hospital and Monroe County Emergency Management were also involved.

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