Firefighters, law enforcement, American Red Cross and others collaborate in drill with people playing victims at Santa Barbara Airport
Be prepared for the worst.
That’s the theme of an emergency drill, and local first responders, agencies and many volunteers pretending to be victims worked together to test lifesaving efforts Thursday morning at the Santa Barbara Airport.
The people playing victims lied on the ground as firefighters treated them and carried them in the drill north of the airport’s main runway. Several fire engines were there, along with some simulated smoke.
The four-hour drill looked realistic, and that was the point as everyone from police and firefighters to the American Red Cross practiced what they would do in case of an aircraft emergency.
“Local, state and federal agencies participate in a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) Aircraft Down Drill,” Capt. Scott Safechuck, a Santa Barbara County Fire Department public information officer, later tweeted. “Agencies cooperate in Emerg. Exercises to increase survivability and reduce the loss of life during large scale incidents.”
The Federal Aviation Administration requires the Triennial Full-Scale Emergency Live Exercise, and as the name indicates, it has to be done every 36 months at airports to test the Airport Emergency Plan. The plan explains what agencies need to do to save lives.
In addition to the Santa Barbara Airport and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, agencies participating in Thursday’s drill included the Santa Barbara City Fire Department, the Santa Barbara Police Department, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, the county Coroner’s Office, the county Office of Emergency Services. and the Montecito and Carpinteria-Summerland fire departments.
Other participants varied from the FAA to the Transportation Security Administration, the American Red Cross, the American Medical Response Ambulance, the California Highway Patrol, United Airlines, SIgnature Flight Support and UCSB Police.
Also participating were Easy Lift and the Metropolitan Transit District.