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Tri-State Airport to conduct disaster preparedness drill Saturday at 10 a.m.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Residents in the Ceredo, Kenova, Huntington, and Boyd County areas should not be concerned if they see numerous emergency vehicles enroute to Tri-State Airport on Saturday morning.

Beginning at 10 a.m., the airport will be conducting a full-scale aircraft disaster drill at the airport in Huntington.

The mock disaster exercise, which the airport is required to conduct every three years, will simulate the crash of a large jet aircraft and involve approximately 1,000 emergency responders from the tri-state area.

The purpose of the drill is to test the capabilities of Tri-State Airport and local emergency response agencies should an actual aircraft crash occur. Exercise objectives include testing communications, fire and police response, emergency medical response, hospital multiple casualty plans, inter-agency coordination and the incident command system. “The morning of the drill, the participants will be given a disaster scenario involving

multiple casualties”, stated Kevin Price, Airport Fire Chief and on-scene Incident Command Officer.

“From that moment, the disaster begins to play out, as if it were a real life situation.” Once the simulated disaster occurs, approximately 170 “victims” will be rescued or recovered and transported and processed through the emergency rooms of Cabell Huntington Hospital, St. Mary’s Medical Center, and the VA Hospital. During the drill, Tri-State Airport will also unveil its recently delivered Oshkosh Striker 1500 fire truck.

The state-of-the-art truck holds 1500 gallons of water, 250 gallons of AFFF “foam”, and 500lbs. of purple K-Dry agent. The truck is also equipped with a forward looking infrared camera for finding hot spots or for driving in zero visibility. Some of the agencies participating include: Cabell Huntington Hospital; St. Mary’s Medical Center; VA Medical Center; Ceredo, Kenova, Lavalette, Prichard, England Hill and Huntington fire departments; Wayne County 911; Cabell County 911; Cabell County EMS; Medical Transport Service; Jan Care; Life; Boyd County EMS; WV Medical Examiner’s Office; Salvation Army; Cabell/Wayne LEPC; HealthNet; Med Flight of OH; PHI Air Medical; Life Flight; King’s Daughters’ Medical Center Flight; ARES; Environmental Protection Agency; WV Homeland Security; MedCom; Cabell County Health Department; and Wayne County Health Department. All of the participating agencies will be evaluated at the site.