QC Airport Public Safety Crews Train for the Worst to Be Ready i - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

QC Airport Public Safety Crews Train for the Worst to Be Ready in Case of Crash

Updated: July 8, 2013 10:09 PM
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The crash in San Francisco has many people thinking about closer to home: Are emergency crews here prepared to handle something like that?

Quad City Airport public safety officials say emergency crews there are ready for anything.

Now, there are some big differences between the Quad City Airport and the one in San Francisco.

The one where the crash happened last weekend is much bigger than ours, with much larger planes flying in and out.

So, at San Francisco's airport, there are several fire stations on the air field. The Quad City Airport has only one.

But, the emergency crews in both places are held to exactly the same standards of readiness.

"The requirement is to get to the midpoint of the furthest runway in three minutes, and our people make it every time," Bruce Carter, Director of Aviation at the Quad City Airport, explained.

The FAA inspects public safety operations at the Quad City Airport every year, and that response time is also tested every time the airport's emergency crews respond to a call.

"We get mostly faulty landing gears, faulty readings on instruments, but pretty minor, thank the lord for that," Carter said.

"I've been here almost 30 years and we've had no fatalities. We've had some crashes, but nothing major, no huge fires," Michael Swanson, Public Safety Manager at the Quad City Airport, added.

But, if a major crash did happen, the crews here would be ready for it.

"We're here 24/7, ready to respond at any time," Swanson said.

And, they're prepared to respond to any situation - involving any of the different kinds of air craft that come through here - and fast:

"Seconds matter," Swanson explained, "You don't have much time to get out of an aircraft, so if they can get foam down to get out emergency exit doors, slides, that's going to save a lot of lives."

That's where the fire department's equipment could make a huge difference. Between the two big striker trucks and the rapid intervention vehicle, they can get six thousand gallons of water, several loads of foam, and a thousand pounds of chemicals to a scene within moments.

"We actually have twice the equipment required," Swanson said.

"We've got state of the art equipment, state of the art employees, well trained, well led, and it's a great operation that we have here," said Carter, "So people should be feeling very comfortable if something happened here at the Quad City Airport.

Airport officials say the public safety crews train for the worst to be at their best should the unthinkable happen. And, they're always improving their skills -- with regular in-house training, annual live fire training in Chicago, and mock crash drills with mutual aid responders every few years.

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