Vernon airport prepares for plane crashes

Several agencies practised emergency response in tabletop exercise

What would happen if an airplane crashed into Okanagan Lake?

That is the question the City of Vernon Airport tackled in a table-top emergency exercise Thursday, Dec. 12.

Together with RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, Vernon Search and Rescue, Vernon Civilian Air Search and Rescue, Vernon Fire Rescue Services and city staff, planned a cross-agency response to the hypothetical situation.

“This tabletop exercise is a good opportunity for all the responding agencies to get together to work through the City’s Airport Emergency Response Plan,” airport supervisor Ian Adkins said. “An incident such as a plane crash could require the involvement of all these agencies.”

The agencies also heard from local pilots with the knowledge of aircraft types that are common at Vernon Airport to explain how to handle an aircraft if it crashed in the water.

“These practice scenarios help familiarize all agencies with the airport protocols and they support our regulatory requirement to hold a tabletop exercise annually, and a major practice scenario once every four years,” Adkins said. “I think everyone comes away with a good refresher on dealing with aircraft incidents and each time we learn something new.”

Vernon Fire Chief David Lind said exercises like this are excellent practice for executing plans in a cross-agency response.

“We build relationships with a number of agencies, identify gaps in emergency response plans and make adjustments in a safe environment,” Lind said. “These are important tools in emergency management.”

If a catastrophic air transport incident were to occur, the City’s Emergency Management Plan would trigger an alert on the City of Vernon website and those registered for emergency alerts would be notified through the VernonConnect mobile app or by email.

“As emergencies can happen any time, it’s vital that we all take steps to prepare ourselves and our families,” emergency program coordinator Sue Saunders said. “This includes planning how we will access important information during an emergency.”

To register for emergency information, visit vernon.ca/subscribe and enter your email address. Residents can also download the VernonConnect app, free of charge. Notifications will be sent to mobile devices during an emergency.

READ MORE: Enderby pilot to make second journey to Antarctica

READ MORE: City of Vernon invests in safety, infrastructure and well-being in 2020 budget


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Highway 1 to close near Revelstoke for avalanche control

Road is expected to remain closed between 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

RCMP to review fatal Field train derailment investigation after evidence points to ‘cover up’

The derailment, which occurred on Feb. 4, 2019, killed three men from Calgary

‘Every recipe tells a story’: New Revelstoke cookbook released

The authors say it’s the first of its kind

Rain and snow for Revelstoke

The next few days will be mild

“Before I Die” project launches in Kelowna

Project head said the installation contributes to mental health conversation

Southern resident orca L41 considered missing and feared dead

The orca was last spotted in August 2019 when photographed in western Strait of Juan de Fuca

Runaway rail car reported on same B.C. train line as fatal 2019 derailment

CP Rail confirmed the incident happened on Jan. 14.

‘I am so sorry’: Stolen Baby Bear statue reunited with Mama, Papa Bear in B.C. town

Culprit left it near the Henry Road roundabout in Chemainus with a note attached

Compost comeback in North Okanagan

City of Vernon councillors approve $27K Compost Bin Pilot Program Phase two

‘Critically low’ caribou population prompts wolf cull in the Chilcotin

Itcha-Ilgachuz herd numbers down to 385, from 2,800 in 2003

Former Shuswap resident killed in Alberta accident was expectant father

Geordie Murray described as ‘wonderful husband, brother son and friend’

Off-duty B.C. Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Most Read