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

UPDATE: Police say false bomb threat came from computer and printer in the school

“The threat was a hoax by a student,” said Port McNeill RCMP.

Winds of up to 90 km/hr predicted to hit Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is warning that loose objects may cause damage

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles still undefeated, dominate Oceanside Generals in Port Hardy

Who can stop the North Island Bantam Eagles? The answer so far this season is, well, no one.

VIDEO: North Island Atom Eagles tie Victoria Ice Hawks, fall in rematch

The North Island Atom Eagles will be back in league play action at home in January.

Strong winds expected to hit north, west Vancouver Island: Environment Canada

Environment Canada said southeast winds will reach speeds of 70 to 90 kilometres per hour

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

Mental health issue suspected after spike belts end Island Highway car chase

Woman in her 30s detained after Tuesday afternoon incident in Lantzville

PHOTOS: Salvation Army’s luncheon brings a blast of Christmas spirit to the North Island

North Islanders, around 300, filled the Island Copper Room as they enjoyed lunch and dessert.

Most Read