Firefighters from the Port of Seattle transport a simulated casualty during the airport’s recent triennial disaster drill
The FAA requires airports to conduct a comprehensive disaster drill every three years. On July 12, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) did its thing, and it was quite a sight.
Volunteer “victims” hung out in a comfortable hangar, waiting for the drill to begin
Volunteer victims included employees of the airport, several airlines, airfield support companies, the FAA, and the TSA. They received elaborate makeup at a remote hangar in order to maximize the realism of the drill.
An old Boeing 757 fuselage mock-up, trucked in from Moses Lake, Wash., was placed between runways for the drill
Unlike the past two events I’ve covered, which were held on a runway that needed to be closed for an entire morning, this drill was held in a small valley between runway 34L and 34C, allowing most airport operations to run normally.
A new wooden staircase made the old fuselage section a bit easier to access
Safety outweighs absolute realism, so a staircase was constructed to allow access to the fuselage to avoid any real injuries during the exercise.
Several “victims” were coached to drag their luggage with them, while others were asked to hang around the fuselage taking selfies to provide rescuers the opportunity to work around a couple of trending hazards.
The volunteer victims were instructed to provide realistic issues for rescuers to confront, ranging from dazed people dragging their luggage aimlessly around the scene, people with various injuries (or no injuries) slowing things down by trying to take selfies, people yelling and screaming, walking wounded, and more.
BONUS: My Day as a [Mock] Airline Accident Victim!
The exercise’s faux victims didn’t lack for realistic-looking trauma
An up-close look at a responding airport fire truck
There was no shortage of equipment – more than 50 rescue vehicles turned up: airport fire trucks, ladder trucks, hazmat vehicles, police cars, ambulances, and more.
A right proper mess, that
There were plenty of rescuers, and plenty of faux victims for them to attend to
Dozens of police and fire agencies from across the region participated in the exercise, drawing an estimated 175 firefighters.
Even though they used a partial 757 fuselage, the exercise was designed to simulate the crash of a 737-sized aircraft with 150 passengers.
Training is an essential component of properly-functioning emergency services – it’s always comforting to see how well prepared these agencies are for a real disaster scenario.
The Paine Field Fire Department, ready for action!
I think many people have a child-like persona that lives inside them. I know I do. When I had the opportunity to hang out with the fine folks at the Paine Field Fire Department, my inner seven-year-old was not only excited, but very jealous of my mid-30s self.
Yes. I am very much having a good time. – Photo: AirlineReporter
I think my initial pitch was to do a story about how the Paine Field Fire Department operates at the airport — and it was very professional-like. When they told me they would love to host me for a story, I couldn’t help but ask if I could turn on the lights and sirens. They told me they could arrange for much more than that. I was down!
A Tesla Model S P85 parked at twilight. Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com
I am a proud owner of a Tesla Model S and I am sick of people asking me if my car has caught fire yet. It was not funny the first time, and it has not changed the roughly five thousand times I have heard the same quip since.
The car has recently run into some fire issues causing some wide-spread media attention. The first time it happened, a man was driving his Tesla Model S in Kent, WA, when he hit road debris at an unconfirmed high speed. The battery was punctured by the gigantic, pointy, piece of metal – but the car maintained integrity long enough for the driver to pull over before the stricken Tesla’s battery pack overheated and ignited.
Soon people started comparing the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fires to the Tesla’s, and I felt that things were getting out of control.
Batavia Air-Boeing 737-4Y0 Reg: PK-YTP
A Batavia Air Boeing 737 that was at the Ngurah Rai Airport in Indonesia had some issues with one of its engines and caused passenger panic. Airport Commander, Lt. Col. Aldrin P. Mongan, stated “, there was a blast-like sound which shook the plane when the second engine was turned on.”
The blast caused smoke, which caused some passengers to think the plane was on fire. “[Passengers] demanded the cabin crew to open the emergency exit door and some of them jumped off disorderly. They jumped before the slider came out,” Ketut Parwa, the head of the Bali rescue team stated. Three passengers jumped out of the aircraft and all were injured.
The act of these passengers is very selfish. It seems they were not listening to the flight crew and put other people’s lives at risk. However, I don’t know how I would react if I was on a plane and honestly thought it was on fire. Especially when knowing all Indonesian airlines (except Garuda Indonesia) are banned from flying to the European Union since 2007 due to their poor safety record.
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Source: Seattle PI Image: Tri Setyo Wijanarko