Thursday, April 14, 2016

2016 LAX Air Exercise Drill Includes Explosions And New Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Rigs

More than 500 stage LAX airplane-accident drill

A controlled explosion signals the start of the 2016 LAX Air Exercise (AirEx), a full-scale simulation designed to test Los Angeles International Airport’s (LAX’s) readiness to respond to an aircraft accident on the airfield
Explosions sent smoke into the air and blood-soaked passengers were scattered on the tarmac Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport on, but the drama wasn’t real.
The bustle of activity was part of the 2016 LAX Air Exercise, a two-hour, unrehearsed drill designed to test the ability of hundreds of emergency-response personnel to react to a disaster on the airfield.

The scenario simulated an aircraft landing at LAX and striking a vehicle on the ground. Organizers set off actual explosions on the tarmac to simulate the crash, and about 150 volunteers posed as victims, many with bloody makeup and props simulating broken limbs or other injuries.

“Exercises like the one we’re holding here today affirm the LAFD’s commitment to train like our lives depend on it, because they do,” Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said. “And the lives of thousands of people — both Angelenos and members of the traveling public — also depend on it.”

Taking part in the drill were more than 500 personnel, including representatives from Los Angeles World Airports, the city Police and Fire departments, city Emergency Management Department, American Red Cross, county coroner’s office, FBI, Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection and the cities of El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach.

The exercise is mandated by the FAA and must be conducted at least once every three years “to evaluate the operational capability of readiness of LAX’s emergency response and management system.”

Featured in the exercise were six new Aircraft Rescue Firefighting vehicles that were recently acquired at a cost of $5.7 million. The vehicles replaced four older ones that have been redeployed to Van Nuys and Ontario airports.

Photo Credit:• VIDEO: LAFD Capt. Bill Wick shows us around the new firefighting vehicles at LAX

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