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Columbia Fire Department Focuses on Teamwork at Airport Drill

Posted: Sep 9, 2013 8:14 PM by Rachel Wittel, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Sep 9, 2013 11:02 PM

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Regional Airport conducted its required emergency drill Monday with a goal of working with more crews as one team.

The Columbia Fire Department's Battalion Chief and Fire Marshal said, "incorporating different agencies into one scene and how that worked" was a big focus during the drill.

"Different agencies have to work together that don't normally have to work together," Brad Fraizer said.

The response agencies' effort included Airport Public Safety, Columbia Fire Department, Southern Boone County Fire Department, Boone County Fire Department, Boone County Sheriff's Department, Missouri Highway Patrol, Columbia Police Department, Ashland Police Department, Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, and the American Red Cross.

Fraizer also said one of the greatest challenges during the simulation is pretending it is not a drill.

"The hardest thing is to keep a realistic feel to it so that the responders get that good, solid training," Fraizer said.

Steven Sapp, a Public Information Officer for Columbia Regional Airport and Columbia Public Works, said the drill went well.

"From what I'm hearing from the command post, they're very pleased with the way the crews reacted," Sapp said. "Again, we had a large number of participants this year in the drill, and so far they're telling us that they all learned something from it."

Twenty actors were used as passengers and patients on the simulated 50-passenger commercial plane.

The actors were MU nursing student volunteers.

The mock results said nine people died, 11 needed immediate medical treatment with life-threatening injuries, four needed delayed treatment, and 13 were considered walking wounded.

The simulated crash was modeling an aircraft that fell short of the runway from Fayetteville, Arkansas north to Chicago.

The drill is required the FAA every three years.

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