A Video Of The Emergency Response Exercise Is Now Available
A video of the emergency response exercise which took place on Aug. 9 has been shared on Youtube. Emergency planners and volunteers walked away with new impressions, lots of information and better ideas of what would be required to get a meaningful response to a natural disaster going on a larger level. Training will remain a top level priority, to train individuals in proper handling of various aircraft. As we know, things done in a hurry, in any kind of emergency response action, bear increased and often hidden risks.
Sky Terry’s Thoughts On Unique Challenges Ahead
We talked with Sky Terry after the exercise to get a better feeling for the challenges he see’s ahead with programs and training events like this one. Here is what he had to say:
“Emergency Responders will have many injuries reported from the communities along the water, but no way to get them to the next level of care, which will be East. It seems safe to assume that most hospitals along the I-5 corridor could be out as an option due to overload or damage. Particularly with a damaged or destroyed road systems, this will create unique challenges for those organizing help and relief.
Emergency Responders will likely experience injuries and damage themselves, which will create the need for additional manpower to replace own losses. Added hands will very likely have to be brought in form the East, as well. Considering that the road network may be flat gone in 80 % or more of the cases, land based general aviation and seaplanes will have to fill the gap until traditional means of transportation can be restored. Much of the population is near accessible water but not always near land based airports, so seaplanes are going to play a vital role.
To effectively triage, emergency responders, in addition to their medical knowledge, need to develop some aviation based knowledge in terms of which type of aircraft can fit which type back board, how to load those back boards.
The emergency responders need to develop a keen knowledge in terms of how to load ambulatory injuries into the different aircraft types. We have some experience thanks to the years of doing exercises with floats and many of those Standard Operation Procedures (S.O.P) that have since been developed.
When assigning injured patients to be loaded into aircraft, coordinators have to be aware of the current fuel load and weight limitations of those aircraft, what range is available and which areas still have the capability to refuel. There may be a need to do a fuel relay.
Emergency Responders need to understand the unique safety and operating aspects of the aviation environment which is unlike anything else and brings its own challenges to those dealing with airplanes.
Much of the points above are actively being worked on developed by both Jefferson and Clallam counties in Washington and they are leading the whole state. Clallam County has an active DART team with I believe 18 committed pilots at this point. These areas will have, very likely the fastest recovery and lowest loss of life because of their foresight and proactive preparation.”
Together with Sky, we intend to keep reporting on the further growth and developments in this arena. We also plan to address some of the rumors and concerns which seem to keep a lot of the pilots skeptical about getting involved. We’d like to shed some light into the process of registering as a pilot or volunteer helper, but also encourage local pilots who may prefer not to provide their airplane or pilot skills, to lend a hand with expertise and experience.
Ideas & Feedback is always welcome via Email!