Kara Price Shannon
External Communications Manager
St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, Illinois will conduct a training exercise on Saturday, November 16. Metro East emergency responders and public health crews will participate in a simulated plane crash and fire, and handle multiple passenger injuries and fatalities. The drill will include a simulated biological hazard scenario.
Residents and motorists in the vicinity of the airport on November 16 are urged to be aware and use caution around emergency vehicles responding to the drill. The training exercise is not open to the public. The exercise will not interfere with normal airport operations.
The University of Missouri will provide its Mobile Aircraft Firefighting Trainer, so that firefighters will have the experience of controlling and putting out an aircraft fire.
“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 include: 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.