St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, Illinois recently conducted a training exercise on Saturday, November 16 where Metro East emergency responders and public health crews learned how to handle a simulated plane crash and fire, multiple passenger injuries and fatalities, and a simulated biological hazard scenario.
The University of Missouri provided its Mobile Aircraft Firefighting Trainer, so that firefighters had the experience of controlling and putting out an aircraft fire. The exercise did not interfere with normal airport operations.
“It’s a great training opportunity for firefighters, emergency medical services, public health, law enforcement, and the coroner’s office to train under very realistic conditions,” said St. Louis Downtown Airport Fire Chief Mike Mavrogeorge.
He added, “It’s important for these agencies to come together and train in a stressful environment to see how they perform. It really helps prepare them in the event of a crash. For firefighters, there is no better training than a live fire.”
Participating agencies included: St. Louis Downtown Airport Fire Department, Bi-State Development Agency (Metro), Federal Aviation Administration, Illinois Emergency Management Agency, St. Clair County EMA, St. Clair County Coroner, St. Clair County Health Department, East Side Health Department, St. Louis Area Regional Response System, Cahokia Fire Department, Sauget Fire Department, Camp Jackson Fire Department, Dupo Fire Department, Prairie DuPont Fire Department, Cahokia Police Department, Sauget Police Department, MedStar Ambulance, Abbott Ambulance, ARCH Air Medical Service, Air Evac, and Belleville Memorial Hospital.
Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport and its surrounding industrial business park.