Seattle- When disaster strikes, local and regional first responders face the challenge of coordinating efforts during a crisis. On Saturday, September 10, 2011, public safety agencies around the Puget Sound will practice coordinating rescue efforts in a series of five aviation drills.
The scenario for all of the exercises assumes landslides, flooding and road washouts caused by heavy storms and 20 inches of rain. In the Seattle scenario, a Washington State Patrol Cessna will circle the park and use its onboard thermal imaging camera to locate an injured patient. The Seattle Fire Department’s Helicopter High Rise Rescue Team will board a King County Sheriff’s helicopter and lower a rescue hoist to pick up the patient off a hillside near the lighthouse.
Four other aviation exercises will be held simultaneously in Snohomish County. The Snohomish County incidents’ command post will be at the Arlington Airport.
The exercises will demonstrate the ability of the Seattle Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Regional Aviation partner organizations to work together. The participating partners will emphasize aviation safety in both the air and on the ground.
The operation will take place from 9am to 1pm in and over Discovery Park. Residents will notice an increase in aviation activity at the park between these hours.
Also participating in this drill are Central Pierce Fire and Rescue, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Police, WSDOT, Seattle Emergency Operations Center, Bellevue Police and Fire, and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.
This is the first regional exercise that coordinates all regional aviation assets in preparation for a natural disaster.