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Plane crash drill creates real scenario for first responders

Multiple emergency response agencies came out to the Santa Barbara Airport where an airplane crash scenario took place this morning.

It involved a smoking bus as a plane fuselage and volunteers on the ground as victims.

” Oh my gosh, oh my gosh an aircraft just landed and lost control and it skidded out of control on runway 25, ” was what the radio transmission said about the incident.

First responders from virtually every local agency showed up when the call came out.

” When our initial units responded on the scene they reported they had fire and smoke from the fuselage and approximately 30 victims on the ground, ” said Santa Barbara City Fire Public Information Officer Kevin Corbett ​. ” They try to make it as real life as possible and our responders respond to what they see ”

Santa Barbara City fire trucks are staffed with special foam engines and nearby Santa Barbara county comes in with backup crews.

Captain Daniel Bertucelli , with Santa Barbara County Fire said, ” it’s just so important for us to drill together and train together so we can all make sure that we are on the same page in case something that happens for real goes seamlessly. ”

The C-130 plane that had an emergency crash landing in August was, ironically, nearby. Fire agencies collaborated on that incident with multiple trucks. All 7 on board survived.

” Last month it showed this training and working together with the county and the city it really pays off, ” said Bertucelli .

First responders who come to a plane crash triage the injuries and find out who has the worst injuries and if there’s any walking wounded.

Patients were on the ground outside and fire crews also had to check for for anyone who might be inside the simulated plane.

Corbett ​said two trucks work in tandem, ” providing water or a foam blanket so the victims that are on the plane can get off safely and then the second rig can actually attack the fire ”

The drill involved Santa Barbara city and county fire, along with Carpinteria-Summerland , and Montecito . Also participating were crews from AMR, Red Cross, Santa Barbara Sheriff, Police, Airport Patrol, and Search and Rescue.

In additional to Santa Barbara city and county, AMR and the airport staff taking part in this federally mandated exercise, Search and Rescue crews took part to help and assess the victims.

Full scale airline crash drills are required every three years by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Additionally, fire personnel at Station 8 at the airport are specially certified on aircraft firefighting.

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