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Springfield-Branson National Airport leaders hold first responder aircraft fire training Thursday

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 4:28 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield-Branson National Airport hosted a live training exercise Thursday morning for airport first responders. They practiced putting out aircraft fires.

The mock airplane fire offered a real-world example of what first responders may face on any given day. In the simulated fire, firefighters entered the burning plane, located any victims, while also working on a gas leak on the opposite side of the aircraft. Springfield-Branson National Airport fire crews say communication and teamwork are critical in this situation.

”What this training does for us is it just prepares us for the inevitable, worst-case scenario,” said airport fire chief, Eric Sanders.

Federal regulations require airport firefighters to practice fighting aircraft fires on a regular basis. Failing to do so could result in the airport losing its certification to host commercial air service. Sanders says one of the biggest challenges emergency situations face at an airport is water supply.

”We’re limited to our fire trucks that’s where we rely on mutual aid to provide us with water,” Sanders said. “We have foam that is readily available on the grounds. Our trucks use foam and water to put out these fires.”

Sanders also says the training is eye-opening and can even be helpful for structural firefighters.

”You never know when a plane will crash or where it will crash,” said Sanders “Learning these skills on how to fight fuel fires or gain entry is very beneficial.”

In 2024 the airport will hold a full scale training exercise.

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