CJIA conducts plane crash emergency response training

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The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Wednesday evening staged a plane crash with 55 persons onboard as part of a full-scale emergency exercise.

The CJIA in a statement said the exercise started at 18:01hrs and ended at 19:37hrs at the airstrip in Timehri. The exercise was being planned for the past three months and is a requirement for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The last full-scale emergency exercise was conducted on November 8, 2017.

Operations Manager and Coordinator of the exercise, Alvin Majeed said: “International Airports are required to conduct such exercises at least once every two years with the objective being to test responses by all personnel involved, emergency plans and procedures and emergency equipment and communication systems.”

Guyana Defence Force ranks evacuating a passenger after the crash as part of the exercise (CJIA photo)

Approximately 300 persons participated in the exercise from key agencies such as the Guyana Defence Force, the Police Force, Airport Fire Service, Customs and Immigration, Airport Security Unit, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, Airline Operators, the Civil Defence Commission and Port Health.

The staged scenario involved an aircraft that crash-landed and caught fire with passengers onboard.

After the crash, the relevant agencies were notified.

First responders to the scene were the Aerodrome Fire Service, who extinguished the fire and rescued the aircraft occupants.

The staged crash site at CJIA (CJIA photo)

The crash site area was then cordoned off by the airport security officers (CJIA and Special Constabulary Officers) with support from the Police while GDF troops formed an outer cordon to protect the area.

The rescued persons were assessed at a triage site by medical personnel and then transported to a care area equipped with medical supplies and managed by doctors and other medical personnel.

The most critical was evacuated via air by GDF Helicopter to Georgetown, while the others were taken to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.

A senior CJIA staff member assumed the role of the on Scene Commander.

The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was activated and representatives from the agencies and the Emergency Committee members reported to the EOC to assist with the coordination of any request for resources and assist with decision-making. Volunteers from other agencies perform the role as casualties.

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