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Airport ‘emergency’ a success

All systems are go at the Nanaimo Airport after its emergency preparedness was put to the test in a live exercise last Thursday.

During the exercise, an airplane crash was simulated using a van carrying volunteer passengers. Emergency response was provided by local emergency response teams such as the B.C. Ambulance Service, RCMP, and Cranberry and North Cedar Fire departments, who secured the area and extracted ‘victims’.

“It went very well, and we were very pleased with the results from all the people involved,” said Mike Hooper, Nanaimo Airport president and CEO. “Safety is our number one priority and exercises like this provide the opportunity for multiple local agencies and the airport to test their individual response plans and gain key learning to respond to an emergency situation involving an aircraft.”

The live exercise is completed once every three to four years while a table-top version of the scenario is held on an annual basis.

“We always have excellent learning [from it],” Hooper said. “It’s a continuous improvement process, and ensures that we’re working as a team and that communications are working well.”

Coincidentally, the exercise took place Oct. 18 – the same time as the Great British Columbia ShakeOut.

“We’re going to do our on-site ShakeOut sometime in the next week,” Hooper said.

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