August 22, 2011

News Release

For Immediate Release

Springfield Airport Emergency Exercise

EVENT: 2011 Airport Emergency Preparedness Exercise

DATE/TIME: Wednesday, August 24, 2011. 9:00 a.m.

LOCATION: Springfield Airport passenger terminal, Board Room, 2300 N. Airport Blvd., Springfield.

PARKING: shuttle/bus parking lot on east side of terminal. Enter building through the east middle entrance; Board Room is on the right.

Preparing for the worst—that's the goal of this week's emergency preparedness exercise at the Springfield airport. While it's an annual event, this year's exercise is more top-of-mind due to the recent disasters in Missouri.

Known as a "table-top," the exercise brings together fire and police departments, emergency medical personnel, emergency planners, airlines, the Red Cross—more than 20 agencies in all. The goal: to improve how everyone would work together if a commercial airliner crashed at the airport.

"This is important training we hope we never have to use," says Brian Weiler, the airport's director of aviation. "But it's critical to ensure airport emergency crews and mutual aide partners are as prepared as possible."

The exercise assumes that a medium sized airliner crashes on airport property, in a rugged, off-road location, with 147 passengers are on board. When airport fire fighters arrive they find multiple fatalities, the seriously injured, and the walking wounded.

Participants in the table-top talk it through…

How many fire trucks will be able to drive the rugged terrain? What's the best way to get ambulances to the crash site? Will patients have to be carried some distance? Is there a nearby water source? How will airport fire fighters communicate with outside responding agencies? By answering these sorts of questions, everyone in the room gets a sense of how a real world scenario would play out.

For more informtion, contact: Kent Boyd, Public Information and Marketing, Springfield-Branson National Airport, 417.868.0500, 2300 North Airport Blvd., Suite 100, Springfield, Missouri 65802