Sawyer learns how to handle a disaster

It was preparing for an incident at Sawyer International Airport that gave emergency crews a chance to hone their skills today.

Firefighters learn how to control a liquid fire.

Knowing what to do, and being able to do it, are importance factors in the event of an aircraft emergency. Classroom training and hands-on experience can make a major difference in how a situation is handled.

“They actually go in there. We don’t do everything sitting in chair, talking about it at a chalkboard. Out here, we actually do it. We want to make sure that when they come in there’s liquid fire and that they operate properly within it. We also talk about how to get to the aircraft. What the importance is to actually get in, open up the doors, and get people out,” commented Wade Boyat, an ARRF Specialist.

Airport crews and local fire and rescue personnel dealt with a mock incident in which a plane was on fire on the tarmac. Crews had to battle fires inside and outside the plane. These tests are important to keep the crews sharp and prepared for anything they might see.

“We all have loved ones that fly in and out of airports. Air travel today is as common as walking. In the old days it wasn’t as common, today people fly. And what we want to know is that at the airport there’s qualified people so if something happens on that aircraft, we can be assured that there’s people at the airport that are certified and qualified to help out,” Boyat finished.

Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting specialists trained Sawyer Airport fire crews as well as those from the surrounding area.