LAKELAND, FL – A full-scale emergency exercise designed to test the capabilities of airport and community emergency response staff in the event of an aviation incident is being held at Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL) on Tuesday, Feb. 15, from 9 AM to 1 PM. The exercise will not affect regular airport operations.
The exercise will allow for the evaluation of the airport’s response to a mass casualty event associated with an airplane incident involving exposure to hazardous materials. The training also aims to test additional core capabilities of emergency response groups, including the communication of public information and warning, operational coordination between agencies, and health and safety practices.
The simulation scenario involves two aircraft, a commercial charter flight with a reported 50 souls on board, impacting an aircraft transporting hazardous material while taxiing across the runway.
There will be signage along Drane Field Rd. indicating a training exercise is in progress. Numerous vehicles and large apparatus will enter and exit Drane Field Road and Airfield Court East, near Fire Station 7 and the LAL Terminal building.
The community should be advised there is no need for concern. The exercise involves the active participation of approximately 14 agencies, including Lakeland Linder International Airport, Lakeland Fire Department, Lakeland Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Fire Rescue, Polk County Emergency Management, the Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Plant City Fire Rescue, Lakeland Regional Health, Winter Haven Hospital, Bartow Regional Medical Center, Tampa General Hospital AEROMED, Orlando Health Air Care Team, among others. The exercise is facilitated by Emergency Response Educators and Consultants, Inc. (EREC).
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations require CFR Part 139 certificated airports to conduct a full-scale exercise every three years to rehearse with all the entities who would be involved in an actual emergency.
The purpose of the exercise is to evaluate the preparedness and capabilities of the airport, its tenants, and local response agencies.
The media is invited to attend and cover the event. A designated media staging area and observation site will be established. Please contact Stephanie Lewis, Public Relations and Information Manager, for additional information and details regarding the exercise.
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