Mock disaster tests Trail airport emergency response

Fire, ambulance, police, City of Trail and Pacific Coastal all took part in exercise.

It was a rough day at the Trail Regional Airport.

It started with a call from the morning Pacific Coastal flight coming in: a passenger seemed to be showing signs of having a heart attack. The ambulance was called.

But after the plane landed, something happened to the driver of the refueling truck: he passed out, and hit the plane, spilling Jet-A fuel all over the tarmac. Passengers are injured, wandering around dazed.

More emergency crews rush to the scene. The Kootenay-Boundary Fire Rescue (KBFR) Service, Trail RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, and Pacific Coastal Airlines crews all respond to the sudden crisis.

If that wasn’t enough, the premier is in town attending a conference. Top government officials are phoning City Hall, wanting to know why they can’t fly out of the airport RIGHT NOW.

It’s a good thing it’s all a drill.

On Thursday morning emergency responders launched a comprehensive test of their response procedures for the airport. The KBFR’s fire chief, Dan Derby, says the mock drill is a great way to get his crews prepared for the real thing.

“The exercise is a requirement of the airport with the federal government,” Derby told the Trail Times. “Anytime we can get a full-scale exercise like this, it is a great opportunity for our crews to practice on the site.”

A disaster is a far more complex affair than first responders just showing up and helping injured people. Many agencies, with different jurisdictions, authority and chains of command have to co-ordinate effectively and efficiently. They have to know how to respond with each other and work together. How they do that can determine how effective the response is — and in real terms, that can save lives.

“Working air-side is different, it’s not something you do on a regular basis,” says Derby. “So it’s great opportunity to practice what is in play for all the agencies responding.”

Everything was back to normal at the airport about two hours after the mock exercise. No flights or local traffic were interrupted.

The only real change was emergency crews were a little better prepared to respond, should a real emergency ever strike.

Just Posted

Drug use a problem at Trail hockey games, warn RCMP

Police recommend changes to Trail Memorial Centre washrooms

Montrose moves to ban pot retail

Retail, production and distribution of non-medical cannabis sales prohibited under Montrose bylaw

Castlegar, Grand Forks areas to see cleaner winter roads under new contract

YRB set to take over 10-year maintenance contract on Monday

Setting sail to fight kidney disease

Trail’s annual Kidney Walk included an opportunity to raft down the Columbia River

MP Cannings spared brunt of Ottawa tornadoes

MP Richard Cannings was spared the impact of the tornadoes that hit the Ottawa region

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read