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Emergency crews conduct plane crash simulation

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Posted at 2:40 PM, Apr 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-04 19:41:21-04

Four agencies came together Monday to train for a military emergency, this simulation involved a Royal Air Force F-35 jet crashing into a California City neighborhood.

Edwards Air Force Base, California City Fire, Kern County Fire and Bakersfield Fire officials responded to the scene where the exercise showed three houses on fire, two injured people and a flaming debris field.

The simulation helped the agencies realize their strengths and weaknesses and what logistics needed to be addressed if something like this ever actually happened.

"It's a very real possibility with our proximity to Edwards Air Force Base, so I think it's a good thing," local Pastor Ron Smith said.

Officials say planes don't normally fly over populated areas like the neighborhood off Karen Avenue in California City, but accidents can happen.

"Edwards is a flight test base, we do all the flight testing for the Air Force there.There is a risk of things that can go wrong," Media Relations for Edwards AFB Kenji Thuloweit said.

For neighbors and those involved, all agree it's a great way to get ahead of a disaster. "I think that's awesome that they're thinking progressive like that, and thinking ahead, because if the worst should happen we know what to do," California City Fire Chief's wife, Christy Armstrong said.

Armstrong played a victim in the simulation and had wounds with gushing blood, from her head and arm. 

Thuloweit said Edwards AFB goes into the community at least once a year to train with emergency responders to ensure they are ready if the worst were to happen.

Armstrong said while this was a simulation, she is concerned about neighbors sitting in their lawn chairs, taking photos and watching the action. "If this was really happening I would hope that people would be a little more concerned about their own safety," Armstrong said.

Safety being the goal of every training exercise.