Fire Crews Put Skills to Test at CHO Airport
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Crews put their disaster-readiness training to the test on Wednesday at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport.
The airport fire and rescue crews spent the afternoon practicing extinguishing flames and preparing for the worst. They put out blazes inside a plane cabin, on the engine, and all over the ground.
"They have their turn out gear on and that increases how much heat they're having to deal with and then when you add they're inside a fuselage that's on fire, that's additional heat so heat is a big part of what we have to deal with," said Public Safety Chief Jonathan Shenk.
The goal of the training is to build the crew's confidence and prepare them for an actual emergency. The airport's Public Information Officer, Stewart Key, says this training helps its firefighters learn how to better coordinate with county crews.
"They're very dedicated to keeping our passengers safe and I think that's the biggest thing for us in making sure that they can come in and go out as safely as possible," Key said.
Shenk says he knows when disaster strikes, he his is now better suited to handle any situation.
"We want to make sure that if anything were ever to happen of this magnitude that we would be able to get people safely off the aircraft and reduce the amount of injuries that people are exposed to on the air craft if there's an accident," Shenk said.
Airport crews hold this training at least once a year. Other training exercises will be going on at the airport through Friday morning.