Members of the Port Hardy Fire Department gear up to tackle the flaming debris around the crash site.

Simulation tests responders

Emergency responders from across the Tri-Port region came together Sunday to tackle a simulated disaster.

PORT HARDY—A mid-air collision over Port Hardy Airport was the scenario Sunday as 125 emergency responders from across the Tri-Port region came together to tackle a simulated disaster.

According to the scenario, a Cessna had collided with a commercial passenger plane, pitching the smaller aircraft into the ocean and leaving dozens of injured passengers inside wreckage peppered with burning debris on the runway.

“I’m thrilled with the way the day went,” said Regional District Emergency Coordinator Gloria Le Gal. She said the simulation wasn’t so much a test of local personnel, rather an exercise bringing several departments together to practice a large-scale response and coordination with other departments.

The biennial event was hosted this year by Port Hardy Airport, with a school bus serving as the remains of a fuselage and about three dozen Junior Canadian Rangers playing the role of victims. Their performances were enhanced by healthy doses of special effects: fake blood, latex wounds, tinfoil shrapnel and makeup applied by George Ewald and his team.

Port Hardy Firefighters were first on the scene, tackling the blazing debris on the runway. They were joined soon after on the runway by colleagues from Port McNeill and Port Alice, RCMP members and paramedics from BC Ambulance while airport officials and emergency coordinators oversaw the operation.

Overhead, a Search and Rescue aircraft circled before dropping a pair of SAR techs on the runway and coming in to land. On the water the Coast Guard joined the operation while the hospitals ran their own parallel exercises. The Salvation Army set up in the airport to provide lunch for the participants.

After subduing the fires, firefighters escorted the walking wounded to waiting paramedics and began stretchering out the more seriously injured. Paramedics then began triage, assessing each victim and grouping the survivors by need.

Impressively, it took less than an hour and half from the first truck’s arrival to extinguish all the fires, access the ‘fuselage’, rescue all the injured, assess their wounds and transport them off-site.

Le Gal said those involved in the simulation will meet this week to discuss the exercise. “We’ve all found weaknesses,” she said. “We’ll have a debrief next week — we’ve all learned something (from the exercise).”

 

Just Posted

Adopted pet pig gets killed and eaten

Animal was adopted out by SPCA staff in the Cowichan Valley

Woss Forestry Program now officially tuition free

All particpants for the first intake will have their tuition funded

Snowfall this morning in Port Hardy

Environment Canada reports 5 to 10 centimeters

RDMW frustrated over WFP response to logging trucks on the highway

“The only way you are going to have our trust back is if you sit with us all at the table.”

Working group discusses public intoxication problem in Port Hardy

The aim is to “set up a framework to make the community a safer place.”

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

Vancouver Island job market ever-evolving

Various sectors driving employment in region will be represented at Black Press career fair in Comox Feb. 8

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Minor injuries after car veers into Courtenay dance studio

A driver and passenger were taken to hospital after their vehicle crashed… Continue reading

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

Most Read