SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Members of the 185th Air Refueling Wing Fire Department participated in a mass casualty exercise directed by the Federal Aviation Administration at the Sioux Gateway Airport Brig. Gen Bud Day Field May 1.
Chief Master Sergeant Michael Albrecht, 185th Fire Chief, said the 185th has a major role in fire protection at the airport.
“The 185th Air Refiling Wing Fire Department is the primary fire protection for all of the aircraft that operate at Sioux Gateway Airport. We cover the commercial, corporate, business and private aircraft that fly in and out of Sioux Gateway Airport, General Bud Day Field,” said Albrecht.
The large mass casualty exercise is required every three years by the FAA for the airport to remain certified to allow commercial operations. Albrecht said the 185th Fire Department was trained and ready.
“We do smaller-scale training that, when you put it all together, it leads to all the skills and abilities you need to respond to a large-scale disaster,” said Albrecht.
The exercise included the use of buses and cars to simulate aircraft on a runway and medical helicopters and ambulances to transport live role players as patients to area hospitals.
“We’re actually having the role players, there will be makeup on them to simulate injuries that the hospital emergency rooms will respond to as the patients get transported to the hospital to get treated, so it’s a very realistic situation, very realistic scenario,” said Albrecht.
The exercise included over 100 participants from first responders in the area, hospitals and the airport.