CHO completes triennial emergency response training
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Charlottesville Albemarle Airport completed its Triennial Emergency Response Training on Saturday.
“It's our opportunity to demonstrate we are prepared as a community and as an airport emergency response team to handle the emergencies that would come with a commercial airport,” Jason Burch, CEO of CHO Airport, said.
Fifty volunteers served as passengers on the plane and were all assigned specific injuries in order to mimic what could happen in an emergency situation. Over the course of the two-hour training session, Rescue and Fire teams filled the site and worked to get the passengers to safety.
“There are a lot of moving parts to an aircraft emergency response. The station from the airport is the immediate response, but then we rely on the county, the city, UVA, everyone’s a participant in it. So, this is how we get everyone together to make sure we understand how we can improve," Burch said.
The triennial training also focused on the communication aspect as first responders were required to consistently communicate the status of the injured passengers, as well as a search for any remaining victims.
Chief of Public Safety Jonathan Shenk says the communications aspect is vital in situations like these given the many moving parts.
“We want to make sure that our communications between us and our mutual aid are working well, and that we are working well together. We do a lot of training together and test it to make sure everything is working appropriately,” Shenk said.
Charlottesville City Manager Samuel Saunders also participated in the training to ensure Charlottesville’s response teams are prepared if an emergency were to ever occur.
"As a board member for the airport authority, I want to make sure we are always prepared, and as city manager, I want to know we are ready. So, this is a great opportunity for all of us to see how we are collaborating, we are getting our services together, and we are ready to respond whenever there is a situation that arises," Sanders said.
A training of this size happens only once every three years. The airport’s emergency response team conducts smaller-scale training multiple times each year to ensure they are prepared for anything that could happen.