Aspen airport to host disaster drill
August 28, 2012
ASPEN – Emergency responders will get realistic practice during a simulated airplane crash at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport on Saturday, Sept. 8.
The Triennial Full Scale Airport Emergency Exercise is required every three years by the Federal Aviation Administration. It will include approximately 50 “victims” and “families of victims,” played by local volunteers and actors. The drill takes place from 8 a.m. to noon.
Pitkin County’s Incident Command System will be activated, and rescue equipment and personnel will be deployed for the exercise.
“We will try to make the drill as realistic as possible so we can fully test our ability to quickly and efficiently respond to any emergency that happens on the airport, particularly when it involves a commercial airliner or large private aircraft,” said Dustin Havel, assistant aviation director of operations and facilities at the airport, in a prepared statement.
Volunteers will wear makeup to simulate injuries for the drill. First responders will practice determining the extent of each individual’s injury, treating people at the scene and transporting victims to the hospital. An out-of-service aircraft, if available, or public bus will be used to simulate the aircraft fuselage. Airline officials will practice dealing with “families of victims.”
Participants will include airport and airline personnel, along with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Aspen Ambulance and firefighters from Aspen, Snowmass Village and Carbondale, as well as representatives of the FAA and Transportation Security Administration.
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Volunteers are still needed for the exercise. They will receive a light breakfast, lunch and a commemorative aluminum water bottle. Contact Cynthia Bernal at 970-429-2852 to sign up.