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

People’s Party of Canada plan to have a candidate in the North Island-Powell River riding

Elections Canada formally recognized the North Island—Powell River PPC Association

NVIATS takes over NIEFS space in Thunderbird Mall

“We were approached by NIEFS, they’re going to be downsizing”

Port Hardy Reigns compete in Nanaimo at Island Championships

“We are very fortunate to have this opportunity for our youth in Port Hardy”

Derina Harvey Band – Heartfelt, Energetic, Celtic rock comes to Port Hardy

Front-woman Derina Harvey leads this Celtic-rock act, who offer an authentic east-coast experience.

OPINION: Urgent care room will cost lives

“Seniors, of any demographic, are the most vulnerable to the loss of emergency care.”

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

Most Read