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Emergency responders plan drill next week at King County International Airport
Beginning next week, emergency responders and aviation officials from South King County will be conducting a series of mass casualty incident (MCI) drills at the King County International Airport, also known as Boeing Field, 7277 Perimeter Road S. in Seattle.
The dates of the drill are Oct. 28, 29, 30, 31, and Nov. 1 and 8, according to a South King County Fire Training Consortium media relase. There will be two drills each day. The sessions run from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 pm.
These practice scenarios help prepare firefighters, police officers, and paramedics for an actual plane crash by creating a realistic environment with a large number of “patients”. While emergency responders deal with patients daily, MCI situations are relatively rare and have different medical protocols. Aircraft or bus crashes and hazardous material leaks are examples of MCI situations.
The drill also helps the King County International Airport meet FAA requirements for its Airport Emergency Plan.
Over the course of the 12 sessions, approximately 400 people will participate in the drill.
The exercise objectives include:
1. Testing of the Mass Casualty Incident plan
2. Ability of different agencies to work and communicate together during a large scale event
3. Ability of rescuers to operate in and near an airplane
4. Organization of “unified command”
5. Use of the Incident Command System
6. Meeting the criteria required by FAA for KCIA’s Airport Emergency Plan
The scenario will involve a large aircraft at the south end of the KCIA. An aircraft body mockup owned by Boeing will represent a 737 or other commercial jet, and dozens of volunteers will have moulage to represent various injuries. Emergency vehicles will respond, stage, and arrive at the crash scene just as they would during a real emergency.
Because officials are trying to create a realistic response, the media is being asked to help notify the public that this is only a drill. The scenario will be visible from I-5, Airport Way, and Beacon Hill and is a potential visual distraction.
The participating agencies include:
King County International Airport, King County Medic One, Tukwila Fire Department, Kent Fire Department RFA, Renton Fire Department, SeaTac Fire Department, Maple Valley Fire Departmen, Port of Seattle, King County Fire District 20, Valley Regional Fire Authority, Burien/Normandy Park FD, North Highline Fire Department, King County Sheriff’s Office, The Boeing Company, Valley Communications and South King Fire and Rescue.