Victoria airport stages disaster response exercise

Response exercise to test airport, Saanich Peninsula fire, paramedics and police personnel on disaster readiness.

Firefighters from Central Saanich place an 'injured' passenger from a simulated airplane crash at the Victoria airport Thursday morning

That smoke rising from the Victoria International Airport Thursday morning signaled the beginning of a simulated aircraft crash — and emergency crews rushed into action.

The exercise simulated a downed WestJet aircraft on its final approach to the airport’s runway 09. The scenario had the aircraft losing thrust and descending rapidly, impacting the ground next to the runway.

First on the scene (apart from observers, media and simulation personnel) were firefighters from the airport itself. Initial response vehicles doused flames with water and foam. The department’s main truck used its telescopic arm to puncture a burning mini-van and put out the fire.

With the fire under control, firefighters from North Saanich, Central Saanich and Sidney arrived and began efforts to free trapped passengers and bystanders (all simulated with mannequins) from the wreckage. Live volunteers were used to help paramedics and firefighters respond to “injuries.”

The wounded and dead (simulated, of course) were marshaled in a nearby staging area, as police with the Sidney North Saancih RCMP  cordoned off the scene for crash scene investigation.

The exercise is done to test the response and readiness of local emergency agencies. It’s required to test the Victoria Airport Authority’s Emergency Response Plan and happens every four years.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Accident on Sooke Road slows traffic in both directions

According to Drive BC, it is unknown when site will be cleared

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Plans for pot shop in Sidney spark back to life

Changing provincial regulations could clear the way for Sidney’s first ever pot shop

Saanich police identify suspect in Brydon Park assault

No charges sworn, no arrest made as of July 9

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Time to protect B.C.’s unique glass sponge reefs, conservation group says

Climate change is a “serious and immediate threat” to the 9,000-year old sponges: study

Time to protect B.C.’s unique glass sponge reefs, conservation group says

Climate change is a “serious and immediate threat” to the 9,000-year old sponges: study

Most Read