Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mock Plane Fire at Delta County Airport (KESC), Escanaba, Michigan

Disaster can strike in a matter of seconds. This was only a test today, but in case something like this really happens the Delta County Airport will be ready. 

 Kelly Smith said, "This is critical for our airports. It's communication between all of our emergency departments. It's making sure the airport's emergency plan gets acted out in some fashion. We only read it on paper."

The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to do a live drill every three years. Aircraft rescue and firefighting drove this mobile simulator here from Minnesota. The simulator is fifty feet long. The Aircraft Rescue Firefighters drive around to eight states in the Midwest to practice real life situations such as this.

Wade Boyat from Aircraft Rescue Firefighting said, "Our loved ones fly every day and all you want to know is that, in the event that something might happen, which doesn't happen all that much at airports, that's a good thing, but if something does happen that you have qualified people that work at the airport, that are ready at a moment's notice, to respond and take care of that issue. That's what we all want in our lives. We want to be able to make sure that, when we're out having fun, when we're going to California or wherever, that when we come back, that if something happens, we're going to be taken care of."

The training exercise at the Delta County Airport is a way to not only test the readiness of emergency crews, but it allowed the different response groups to work together. Personnel from several Upper Peninsula airports were involved in the training.

Another component of the training was media relations. A mock fax was sent to media organizations and a mock press conference was held at the Delta County courthouse. This aspect of the exercise gives radio, tv and newspaper reporters a preview of what to expect in the event of an actual emergency.


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