County airport staff and rescue crews, Carlsbad police, firefighter-paramedics, the American Red Cross and community members — many made up to look like injured air crash victims — will hold a major disaster exercise Thursday morning at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad.
County officials said people who live near the airport should not be startled by the activities Thursday morning, which will include a propane-fueled fire, sirens, emergency vehicles entering and exiting the airport and the presence of large numbers of law enforcement and emergency responders.
Airport officials said the runway will be closed for no more than 15 minutes when the drill begins at 9 a.m. and that it would be reopened immediately for normal business. The drill is expected to be completed by 11 a.m.
McClellan-Palomar Airport is one of eight airports operated by the San Diego County Department of Public Works. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which will have officials at the drill, requires disaster exercises to be conducted every three years to ensure emergency personnel can respond quickly and effectively.
At Thursday’s drill, emergency responders will work put out fires, rescue and treat dozens of “victims” — both inside a bus serving as a crashed airplane and scattered about a hangar ramp — and transport them for hospitalization.
McClellan-Palomar officials said the drill will show that the airport’s rescue crews can respond immediately with backup from the city of Carlsbad Fire Department in any emergency and that the airport fully complies with FAA standards.–County News Center