Simulated "Emergency" Provides Opportunity for Hands-On Practice Responding to Airfield Incident

June 17, 2008
Sharyn Wisniewski (608) 661-6485 or (608) 712-1950

Hoping it never happens, but preparing to respond if it does, the Dane County Regional Airport and first responders today exercised their plans to respond to a potential aircraft incident at the airport. Using a plane provided by FedEx air freight, with volunteers portraying the injured on-board and family members arriving at the scene, the “incident” involved an aircraft hit by lightning that lands at the airport with the nose gear not fully extended and the fuel tank nearly fully. The exercise took place on the southeast side of the airfield (air freight area) and did not disrupt normal commercial or private flight activity. “In Dane County, we take disaster planning very seriously,” said Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. “Today’s exercise provides valuable experience in working together to respond when the unexpected happens.” “Planning an effective response to emergency situations is something we work on all the time. It is much more than just a one-day activity,” said Dane County Airport Director Bradley Livingston. A full scale exercise of emergency response at the Dane County Regional Airport is required every three years to meet Federal Aviation Administration certification requirements. From the first call at 8 a.m. to the end of the exercise at 11:30 a.m., the full-scale exercise was designed to measure actual performance against prescribed action plans. Sixteen evaluators focused on five performance objectives, and will file an After Action Report later this summer. The five objectives pertain to: · Setting up a unified command structure involving all first responders · Maintaining a timely information flow · Securing perimeter control on entry into and exit from airport grounds · Staging and staffing operations for responding units, and · Performing rescue operations according to best practices Participants included: · Dane County Regional Airport · Dane County Emergency Management, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Dane County Coroner’s Office · Truax Fire Department · City of Madison Fire Department and City of Madison Police Department · Sun Prairie Fire & EMS, Monona Fire & EMS, McFarland Fire & EMS, Oregon Fire & EMS, Maple Bluff Fire, Blooming Grove Fire, Deer Grove EMS, and Maple Bluff / Blooming Grove / Burke EMS · Transportation Security Administration · Northwest Airlines and Midwest Express Airlines · Wisconsin Air National Guard · Meriter Hospital # # #