NFTA Transporter

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

BNIA Plays Role in National Disaster Drill

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Saturday, July 12 seemed like a normal summer day at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport to the casual observer. But that was not the case as the airport’s Crash Fire Rescue Unit along with members of the NFTA Police department was part of a national disaster drill being played out behind the scene at the BNIA.

The drill was coordinated by the local Veterans Administration, together with the National Disaster Management Systems / VA-Department of Defense, Eire County Emergency Services, Erie County Specialized Medical Assistance Response Team, disaster coordinators from the Towns of Cheektowaga and Amherst and local hospitals.

 The mock disaster simulated a terrorist bombing at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA, resulting in mass casualties and fatalities. Western New York was activated for the reception of patients on Saturday to assist with the overwhelmed Williamsport hospital system.

A C-130 aircraft landed at the BNIA at 10 a.m. carrying casualties of the bombing, who were triaged on the tarmac by medical staff and then their names were processed into a computer program to establish a data bank of where each victim was located and the nature of the injuries. This provided a tracking system so families and staff could keep track of where all of the casualties were transported and being treated.

The participants meet at the conclusion of the drill to do an evaluation of the day’s activities to determine what they did well and where they could improve the process.

Captain Bill Major, BNIA Crash Fire Rescue Unit said, “It’s important to be prepared for emergencies whether they originate here or somewhere else. This drill gives our airport and other first responders the opportunity to work together and prepare ourselves should a real emergency occur.”