JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation recently sponsored training sessions in several cities that will better prepare emergency responders in case of a crash or other airport emergency.
"This is one training we hope no one ever needs to use, but it's always best to be prepared," said Joe Pestka, MoDOT Aviation Administrator. "Time is of the essence in an emergency situation. Providing comprehensive training to those who would respond to an airport accident or other type of incident will give them a better advantage for saving lives and protecting airport property."
The training, Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Techniques for Emergency Responders, was presented in the cities of Hannibal, Cape Girardeau, Maryville, Joplin, Trenton and Mexico in the month of December. Classes are funded through a State Aviation Trust Fund grant administered by MoDOT. It is free of charge for participants.
This training is provided to individuals who would most likely be the first to respond to an emergency at Missouri's smaller airports. Airport officials, structural firefighters, state and local law enforcement and other local emergency responders participated.
During a daylong training session, participants perform exercises and learn planning techniques specifically for responding to aircraft emergencies. The class also is familiarized with critical areas around the airport. Additionally, they learn vital information about aircraft, such as where batteries and fuel tanks are located and where to turn off electrical equipment.
Seven training sessions were held in the fall and additional classes will be held throughout the winter months.
The training is administered by Mark Lee of the University of Missouri Extension Fire Rescue Training Institute in Columbia.