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Emergency plans put to the test

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Updated: 10/02/2013 7:18 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's not an easy thing to do. Evacuate an entire airport. Coordinate several different agencies and airlines. Make sure no one gets hurt. But airport spokesman Michael Stewart said that's what happened at JIA on Tuesday night.

He said, "Our first blush is that everybody performed admirably."

A perfect storm of three separate incidents led authorities to put JIA on lockdown. There was a man arrested for a bomb hoax and a man charged with resisting arrest when police say he dropped his bag and ran from them. At the same time, a disruptive passenger had to be removed from a plane. The city's first responders were put to the test.

Stewart said, "I don't think, in a situation like this, you can never overreact when people can be in harm's way."

Multiple agencies from JSO, to the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force responded. The airport was evacuated safely.

Stewart said it appears their emergency plans worked. But he said one thing he would do differently is get some help with getting out information to the public.

"I would have brought in more backup to do some Tweeting a little bit earlier to get some information out," he said.
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