South Carolina first responders conduct emergency training

Multiple federal, state and local agencies conducted an emergency training exercise on Saturday in Horry County, South Carolina.

First responders from across South Carolina took part in Operation Coastal Response near the Bucksport Marina in Horry County and the Wacca Wache Marina in Georgetown County. The National Guard was one of many agencies that participated in the training exercise, WBTW.com reports.

The exercise involved a simulated plane crash scenario.

Sgt. James Cook with the National Guard said the training helps first responders to be strong under pressure.

"What it does is it builds teamwork, it builds strength within the company... to create a very unique situation where we're good under pressure, under stress, and able to perform a mission whenever duty calls," Cook said, according to WBTW.com.

Brian VanAernem with Horry County Fire Rescue said the training helps local agencies improve their communication with one another.

"Not only with Horry County Police, Horry County Fire, Horry County Sheriff's Office but also Emergency Management, Airport Fire and any other agencies that would be responding," VanAernem said, WBTW.com reports.

Randy Webster, the director of Horry County Emergency Management, said the exercise tests how well the two counties can respond to a mass casualty event.

"When you do something like this we'll find things we did well and we'll find things we can do a little better which is why we do this to validate the response plan we have in place and make changes in a simulation environment instead of when it really happens," Webster said, according to WBTW.com.

All participants in the drill provided feedback forms that will that will be used to create an action report and improvement plan over the next six to eight months.