Emergency response - Articles and news items
Issue 4 2012 • 1 August 2012 • Chief David Y Whitaker, Airport Liaison Chief at Memphis International Airport and Chairman of the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Working Group
We have all heard the old adage that if you’ve been to one airport, then you’ve been to them all. However, airports are complex places and the size of the airport, scheduled aircraft, ARFF equipment, training, mutual aid, and jurisdictional boundaries all contribute to the differences. Exactly who is in charge or is responsible for each airport operation varies with each airport environment.The same concept is true regarding aircraft fires, no two are exactly alike. First responders must prepare for every imaginable set of circumstances. Table top, functional, and full scale exercises will help educate and prepare the airport for many different scenarios. The time to make many of the overall incident management and jurisdictional decisions is during pre-planning as any issue that can be worked out before an incident will be one less hurdle to overcome during the event. The use of a Standard Emergency Response Pattern (SERP) as a template can help responding agencies with the overall geographic layout (see Figure 1). The pattern is primarily based on wind and terrain but also considers many external factors. When overlaying a diagram of a clock to the incident scene, down wind is at the 12 o’clock position. If possible, no Incident Command System (ICS) positions should be placed between the 10 to 2 o’clock directions. The ideal condition has always been up wind, uphill and up stream. With that being said, there are a few basic principles we should consider for every incident.
The need today is share everything or do without! Governments are making significant cuts in every area and the task before every emergency response agency is to do your job without any extra funds. That sounds easy! Failure is an option for any organisation, but if you work within your mission statements, share resources with outside agencies that have a common goal with your own, and gain involvement from everyone, then you have a chance of survival.
Four years ago the European Commission set up an initiative to increase security for European citizens. It started with a Preparatory Action for Security Research (PASR), with E45 million of research funding over a three year period. This was driven by the Directorate General of Enterprise. In addition to this, the 6th Framework Program continued to cover detailed topics on parts of the security chain, with the 7th Framework Program starting in 2007. This included E1.4 billion of funding for mission oriented security research over 7 years. Meanwhile the Directorate General for Justice, Law and Security set up the European Program for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP), with a further E180 million.
Toronto Pearson International Airport has been undergoing a metamorphosis over the past ten years, changing from a publicly funded and operated facility, to a privately funded and operated, state-of-the-art complex. Deane Johanis assesses the development of an emergency management program at an airport being built around an existing airport – one that has seen a 33 per cent passenger increase during a tumultuous period in terms of major emergencies.