Staff from several departments with the City of Vernon—including Operations, Vernon Fire Rescue Services, Bylaw, RCMP and Communications—took part in an emergency simulation at the Vernon Regional Airport on Thursday morning. Members of Vernon Search and Rescue and the Vernon Flying Club also participated in the scenario. The purpose of this full-scale exercise is to provide emergency responders, City staff and potential stakeholders with the opportunity to apply the City’s airport emergency response plan in a safe and realistic manner. The exercise covers all aspects of an emergency situation to detection of the emergency through to wrap-up and debrief.
The scenario involved the emergency off-runway landing of a twin-propeller airplane with a pilot, co-pilot and two passengers. In the scenario, the pilot was trapped with minor injuries and one of the passengers was experiencing chest pains and showing classic signs of a heart attack. Fuel from the plane leaked into the soil under the right wing of the plane. Crews attending onsite had to safely remove passengers from the plane and respond to hazardous materials with a potential environmental impact.
“We are pleased with how the exercise was completed,” said Ian Adkins, Airport Supervisor at Vernon Regional Airport. “The simulation gives us an opportunity to see what works well with our emergency plans and what we need to improve upon.”
Several members of Vernon’s local media were also involved with the scenario, responding as if it were an actual event and ensuring important and accurate information was conveyed to Vernon residents.