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Vernon  

Training for an emergency

It was all hands on deck at the Vernon airport today as first responders practiced a cross-agency response to an imaginary plane crash.

"This tabletop exercise is a good opportunity for all the responding agencies to get together to work through the City’s Airport Emergency Response Plan," said Ian Adkins, supervisor of Vernon Airport. "An incident at the airport could require the involvement of all these agencies."

On hand were members of the RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, Vernon Fire Rescue Services, and City of Vernon staff including Bylaw Compliance officers, Airport, Communications and Emergency Support Services staff.

"These practice scenarios help familiarize all agencies with the airport protocols and they support our regulatory requirement to hold a tabletop exercise annually, and a major practice scenario once every four years," said Adkins. "I think everyone comes away with a good refresher on dealing with airport incidents and each time we learn something new."

This year, local pilots with knowledge of aircraft types that are common at the Vernon Airport were on hand to explain how to deal with an inverted aircraft and some of the issues that can occur in a plane crash.

For Vernon, the seasonal threats of flooding and fires are the most pressing concerns so it makes sense to plan and practice for emergencies at this time of the year.

"These exercises provide us with an opportunity to practice executing emergency plans together. We build relationships, identify gaps in the plans and make adjustments in a safe environment," said City of Vernon fire chief and director of emergency management David Lind.



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