SANTA BARBARA, Calif. --
A drill to save more
You may have seen some smoke coming from the Santa
Barbara Airport this morning. It was part of an emergency drill for county crews
to prepare for a full-scale plane crash disaster.
"Today was a simulated aircraft
accident," says Gary Pitney of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. "The
simulated aircraft which is a bus--skidded off the runway and landed on the
tarmac with a landing gear collapse. Our team is ready."
Agencies across Santa Barbara
County conducted the drill to prove they are ready. "I believe we're ready," says Evaluator
"First thing you think is about
is...'oh my goodness, what are we going to do?' so we have to send the right
amount of equipment or all the equipment available to the scene and then we need
to start figuring out is the scene safe so we go in and start rescuing people,"
Once passengers are taken off the
plane, they are tagged based on their injuries with green tags meaning minor,
yellow meaning moderate and red meaning the most extreme
"It's something that crews at the
airport train on all the time but it's something crews that work in the city
don't have an opportunity and aren't always thinking about this kind of thing so
it's important that we work together with these agencies and people that aren't
doing this on a daily basis so that they understand their role when an actual
accident does happen," says Pitney.
The seventy passengers were
safely evacuated and the first responders say if it were to happen, they know
what to do.
"If it were a real incident
ultimately the success of treating as many patients as quickly as possible and
getting as many to the hospital that's the number one goal in a drill like
Federal law requires the airport
to test it's emergency plan every three years to keep it's Federal Aviation
The Santa Maria Airport conducted
a similar drill earlier this week.
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