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Shake Rattle and Roll – Long Beach Airport Drill

By frhayes | April 25, 2009

  On April 24, 2009 from 10:00 PM to 12:00 PM a full scale Airport exercise was conducted, the purpose of the drill was to provide an exercise in which airport and emergency service organizations could provide fire, rescue, emergency medical and related services to victims of a major earthquake and aircraft disaster. It also provided the opportunity for those public and private organizations to interface under a Unified Command structure during an airport emergency setting.   This drill also satisfied the FAA requirement for conducting a triennial aircraft emergency exercise. The drill evaluated the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF), Airport Management, Security, Police, and EMS response for their operational readiness in the event of an earthquake and mass casualty incident. The scenario for the drill was that the Los Angeles area had suffered a 6.4 magnitude earthquake centered approximately 2 miles north of the Long Beach Airport. The airport subsequently suffered extensive damage with reported injuries to employees and passengers due to shattered glass and debris. The exercise began with various departments and agencies initiating their post earthquake operational procedures. Agencies were then given status injects as they checked the structures and places listed on their Earthquake Operational Plans.   The Airport Emergency Plan was utilized following the sections for natural disasters, structure fires, and aircraft incidents. The Multi-Hazard Functional Plan was also referenced.  Responsibilities were shared among all stakeholders in the city that share joint responsibilities involved in the event of an aircraft disaster or mass casualty emergency at the Long Beach Airport. There were various emergencies throughout the airport; however, the main scenario centered on a plane fire caused by the earthquake. The fire and explosion caused approximately 60-100 injuries.  City of Long Beach agencies that participated in the drill included Airport Operations, Long Beach Fire, Police, Search and Rescue, and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Outside agencies that participated included the Los Angeles County Sheriff Air Support, fire departments within Los Angeles and Orange Counties, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Greater Long Beach Chapter of the American Red Cross, St. Mary Medical Center Disaster Resource Center, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, U.S. Airways, various ambulance agencies and other Airport tenants. There were also approximately 200 volunteers from across Long Beach and the Southern California region that assisted with this exercise.

Topics: Events, Public Safety | 36 Comments »