Category - Emergency Operations

Central Nebraska Regional Builds New ARFF Station for New Fire Truck

Central Nebraska Regional Builds New ARFF Station for New Fire Truck
Central Nebraska Regional Airport (GRI) was ready to retire its old 1982 Oshkosh fire truck. But when airport officials considered replacing it with a new Oshkosh Striker 4x4, they realized they had a “big” problem: The existing aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) facility would be too small for the new equipment. Their solution? Build a bigger new station.

Lexington Blue Grass Airport Adds New Fire Station During Airfield Upgrades

Lexington Blue Grass Airport Adds New Fire Station During Airfield Upgrades
Lexington Blue Grass Airport (LEX) is on pace to open a new three-story aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) facility in August. Completion of the $15 million ARFF station moves the Kentucky airport one important step closer to finishing its five-phase program to enhance taxiway safety.

New ARFF Training Center at Appleton Int’l

New ARFF Training Center at Appleton Int’l
There’s a new Midwestern location for aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) training, and it’s the only site in the U.S. where personnel can practice on and in a full-size Boeing 777. The new training center is located at Appleton International Airport (ATW) in northeast Wisconsin.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Delivers Emergency Response Training to Entire Workforce

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Delivers Emergency Response Training to Entire Workforce
One year after a man went on a shooting rampage near the baggage claim area at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), the Broward County Commission passed an ordinance requiring all aviation employees to receive emergency response training. Before the 2018 resolution, airport workers received security training, but many tenant employees did not.

Operation Airdrop Brings Post-Hurricane Relief With Help of Airports & Volunteers

Operation Airdrop Brings Post-Hurricane Relief With Help of Airports & Volunteers
In September 2018, Hurricane Florence dumped 35 inches of rain on the Carolinas, with winds gusting up to 130 mph. The Category 4 storm created widespread flooding that closed major freeways and other roads for days after landfall, completely cutting off access for 120,000 people in Wilmington, NC, and many more in surrounding communities.

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Develops Staff of Triple-Trained Public Safety Officers

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Develops Staff of Triple-Trained Public Safety Officers
Until recently, the western Virginia airport contracted an outside company for on-call fire protection and employed seven conservators of the peace to work standard rotating shifts. In September 2016, ROA’s department was officially designated a police department by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, and all officers were sworn in as police officers. Now, an in-house team of 14 public safety officers provides police, fire and emergency medical services 24/7, and one police officer remains on staff.

Colorado Springs Airport Reopens Terminal One Day After Three-Alarm Fire

Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
Shortly before 11:00 p.m. on April 16, emergency 911 operators received a call about smoke and flames emanating from the roof of the terminal at Colorado Springs Airport (COS). Within minutes, the airport had a three-alarm fire on its hands.

Valley Int’l Fire & Rescue Station Improves Response, Training

Valley International (HRL)
When the time came for Valley International (HRL) to upgrade its aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) facility, officials at the Harlingen, TX, airport joined forces with their design team to create a building uniquely designed for firefighters. The new $3.8 million, 10,000-square-foot station officially opened in May with a host of features to enhance safety and efficiency.

Fort Lauderdale Int’l Shares Lessons Learned From 2017 Active Shooter Tragedy

Early last year, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in Broward County, FL, experienced the deadliest airport shooting in U.S. history when a passenger killed five people and sent six others to the hospital with injuries. More than 50 others were hospitalized for chest pains, low blood sugar, broken bones, etc. incurred while fleeing the scene and during a subsequent stampede triggered by false reports of another shooting.

Houston Airport System Improves Incident Response With Mobile Command Center

Houston Airport System Improves Incident Response With Mobile Command Center
"Be prepared” isn’t only the motto for Boy Scouts. The Houston Airport System follows the same philosophy for providing emergency services at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and Ellington Field (EFD). The timeless wisdom of its approach was demonstrated last June, when an F-16 crashed at EFD— a three-runway airport that serves a variety of military, NASA and general aviation operations.

New Vehicle & Station Expansion Boost Emergency Response at Juneau Int'l

Vehicle and Station Expansion, Boost Emergency Response, Juneau Int'l
Traffic is changing at Juneau International (JNU), and so is the airport's emergency response program. As the airfield begins to receive an increasing number of larger-capacity aircraft, officials are enhancing its aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) capabilities accordingly. Last year, the Alaska airport purchased a $750,000 state-of-the-art ARFF vehicle that is so tall and wide, JNU needed a larger station to house it. The recent $2.6 million renovation project also brought its facility up to FAA specifications and added more room for gear and support functions.

Martha's Vineyard Airport Replaces Fire Station Just in Time

Martha's Vineyard Airport Replaces Fire Station Just in Time
Faced with the prospect of heavy FAA sanctions, Martha's Vineyard Airport (MVY) was under the gun to replace its aging, non-compliant aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) building. When its new $10.4 million facility opens in November, officials will officially close the book on a difficult chapter for the county-owned airport.

LaGuardia's Safety & Response Systems Shine During High-Profile Runway Runoff

Last fall, amid the final flurry of campaign activity before the U.S. presidential election, New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) experienced a runway incident that briefly closed the entire airfield and thrust its safety systems and response procedures onto center stage. When the dust settled, it also reaffirmed the airport's policy of putting safety first and proved that planning ahead can make all the difference.

Joplin Regional Opts for Online ARFF Training

Meeting annual training requirements for aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) personnel can be particularly challenging at smaller airports with small staffs, where firefighters often perform airfield maintenance in addition to their primary ARFF and operational duties.

New Software Adds Mobile Connection for Ops Personnel at Los Angeles Int'l

Although the 2013 shooting incident at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) was resolved in just three minutes, six people were wounded and a TSA officer lost his life. The tragic event left permanent scars on the airport...and also prompted an extensive review of response operations at the facility that serves more than 70 million people annually.

Vehicle Simulator Reduces Risk During Firefighting & Rescue Training at O'Hare Int'l

Emergency crews at O'Hare International Airport (ORD) can now train without the omnipresent danger of blazing flames and structural collapse. There's no smoke and mirrors involved, just a customized aircraft firefighting and rescue (ARFF) simulator that safely replicates actual emergency situations with virtually no risk to equipment or personnel.

Des Moines Int’l & Fort Smith Regional Privatize Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting Services

As the Pentagon converts two Midwestern Air National Guard units from flight training to drone operation regiments, the airports that hosted the units lost their aircraft rescue and firefighting services (ARFF) in the process. Acting separately, both airports turned to the private sector to fill that gap. On Oct. 1, Iowa’s Des Moines International Airport (DSM) and Fort Smith Regional Airport (FSM) in Arkansas turned over their ARFF operations to Pro-Tec Fire Services, the largest private provider of ARFF services in the industry. While both DSM and FSM received advance notice that their ARFF services would be leaving with their respective guard units, the airport’s individual situations differed — and so did their reactions to the news.

New Emergency Training Center Opens Soon at Outagamie Regional

In today's post-9/11 world, demand for extensive and realistic emergency responder training has never been higher. A new $35 million facility at Outagamie County Regional Airport (ATW) in Appleton, WI, will help meet that need.

Orlando Int'l Battles Full-scale Emergency (Exercise)

In March, Orlando International Airport (MCO) hosted the largest full-scale emergency exercise in Florida history. The four-hour training event included more than 1,200 participants - 600 volunteer victims, each with a specific injury; 400 first responders from four different counties and multiple agencies; and staff from 16 hospitals throughout the region.

DFW Adds Hands-On A380 Training to its Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting Curriculum

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) recently enhanced its well-established aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) training program with $29 million of updates and renovations to its Fire Training Research Center. A mockup of an Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger jet, is now center stage.

Greater Rochester Int'l Economizes Emergency Operations Center Construction

Approximately 150 people packed the new airport emergency operations center (AEOC) at the Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC) during an emergency exercise tabletop drill in June 2011. The more spacious facility was a vast improvement over the tiny multipurpose room in the main terminal that formerly served as the airport's emergency command post.

Roanoke Regional Privatizes Fire & Rescue Services

For years, rescue and firefighting services for Roanoke Regional Airport (ROA) in western Virginia operated out of a public joint-use station located on airport grounds. The city's structural firefighters drove out of one set of doors for standard calls such as house fires; aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) crews used a separate set of doors and equipment for airfield incidents. In July, the airport finalized its transition from public to private ARFF services.

Upgrade in FAA Designation Prompts Upgrade of Facilities at Bellingham Int'l

When Allegiant Air announced plans to expand service to Bellingham International Airport in Washington, it started the ball rolling on several facility upgrades, including construction of a $2.2 million aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) station.

Detroit Metro Builds $3.9 million Training Center

Police at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) sprang into action when the infamous "underwear bomber" unsuccessfully attempted to bring down a Christmas day flight en route from Amsterdam. Two days later, DTW police were back in full crisis response mode when a passenger aboard the same Amsterdam flight locked himself in bathroom and prompted another emergency landing. These are events which make the recent construction of a $3.9 million public safety training center seem proactive and full of foresight.

New Training Center in Atlanta Uses Controlled Live Fire

Not being prepared is not an option at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, the world's busiest airport, serving more than 90 million passengers annually.


ACC: Rethinking Airport Resiliency in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Rethinking Airport Resiliency in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, airports and their stakeholders are managing disruption unlike any previously experienced in the modern world. With an unprecedented decrease in aircraft and passenger traffic, growing economic stress, and further uncertainty ahead, airports require resilient financial and operational planning to ride out COVID-19 and to plan for the post-pandemic future.

Survival for airports requires re-prioritizing previously identified plans, exploring new ways to operate and fund airport operations, and learning from past experiences to improve an airport’s ability to succeed in the future. This guidance provides direction for airport operators and consultants, including planners and emergency management staff, on how airports can enhance resilience to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future disruptions ahead.


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