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More than 80 people from responding agencies throughout the region participated …

More than 80 people from responding agencies throughout the region participated in mass casualty exercise today at the Colorado Springs Airport. Crews extinguished a staged aircraft fire and rescued “passengers” from an aircraft as they tested their communications and procedures for responding to a simulated aircraft emergency.

The exercise, which was originally scheduled for May, was postponed due to COVID-19. A key aspect of managing airport operations during a global pandemic is being ready to respond to an emergency regardless of the conditions. Because disasters won’t wait for a pandemic to end, several agencies in the region came together to hone their response skills with a few minor changes to the drill to accommodate for social distancing. Although some of the aspects of the exercise were modified to protect participants, crews were faced with a realistic scenario that required quick action, coordination with multiple responders and agencies as they practiced working in a new environment.

Thanks to the COS Airport, Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management, Colorado Springs Fire Department and several agencies across the Pikes Peak Region that helped make today’s emergency drill a success.

In accordance with Federal Aviation Agency requirements, the airport conducts a full-scale emergency exercise every three years to ensure responders keep their skills and coordination efforts at the ready in the event they had to respond to a real aircraft emergency. The last airport exercise was conducted in 2017.

[image description: firefighter walks in front of large fire and smoke as a fire truck sprays the fire with water]

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