Aspen airport plans mock disaster |

Aspen airport plans mock disaster

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – A simulated, full-scale airline disaster will take place Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.

The mock disaster, required by the Federal Aviation Center to take place every three years, will include about 50 “victims” and families of victims, played by local volunteers and actors.

“We try to make the exercise as realistic as possible so we can fully practice our ability to quickly and efficiently respond to any emergency that happens on the airport – particularly one that might involve a commercial airline or large, private aircraft,” said David Ulane, assistant aviation director, in a press release.

Rescue equipment and personnel will be deployed as if in a real emergency and the county will put its “incident command system” into use.

Volunteer victims will suffer realistic-looking, simulated injuries; responders will practice determining the extent of the injury, treating the patient on the scene and transporting victims to Aspen Valley Hospital. A bus will be used to simulate an aircraft fuselage.

Airline personnel will practice dealing with “families” of victims at a cordoned-off area of the terminal building.

The exercise will begin at 9:45 a.m. Normal airport operations, including scheduled airline flights, will not be affected, according to the county.

The public can expect to see fire trucks, ambulances and emergency responders of all types in the vicinity of the exercise, on the west side of the airport, off Owl Creek Road, according to Ulane.

Participating agencies in the dirll will include airport and airline personnel, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Aspen Fire Protection District, Aspen Ambulance, Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District, Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District, Aspen Valley Hospital, American Red Cross, Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration, and a host of local volunteers and actors.

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