City hosts emergency exercise at Vernon Regional Airport


The Vernon Regional Airport was the scene of a simulated plane crash today, which saw a cross-agency response from a number of local organizations. The City hosted a full-scale emergency exercise which included collaboration with the RCMP, Vernon Fire Rescue Services, Aurora Aviation, and City staff.

“This full-scale exercise is a great opportunity for all the responding agencies to get together and work through the City’s Airport Emergency Response Plan,” said Curtis Linton, Supervisor, Vernon Regional Airport. “An incident such as a plane crash could require the involvement of all these agencies.”

Working through a major practice scenario helps familiarize all responding agencies with the airport’s protocols and helps fulfill a regulatory requirement of conducting a full-scale scenario every four years.

“Everyone involved receives a refresher, or a new introduction to handling aircraft incidents,” said Linton. “Participants are debriefed following the practice to identify possible issues with the response and offer solutions.”

In years that a full-scale exercise is not conducted, the City still hosts an annual tabletop exercise to review the Airport Emergency Response Plan and ensure processes are understood.

“Conducting exercises like these provide us with an opportunity to practice executing emergency plans together,” said Deputy Fire Chief Alan Hofsink. “We build relationships with a number of agencies, identify gaps in emergency response plans, and make adjustments in a safe and controlled environment. These are important tools in emergency management.”

In the event of a catastrophic air transportation incident, the City’s Emergency Management Plan would trigger an emergency alert on the City of Vernon’s website and out to people who subscribe to emergency notifications via email.

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Airport exercise