WILLIAMSTOWN -The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport held its annual fire training on Thursday with the aid of the Waverly Volunteer Fire Department and the West Virginia University Fire Service Extension.
"This is a great partnership we have with the Waverly Volunteer Fire Department and WVU," said airport manager Terry Moore.
The airport's 10 line-and-maintenance employees received the training with the help of a training airplane, fire mat and instructors with the West Virginia University Fire Service Extension. The service extension also provides the plane, which travels around the state to help airports with training.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Fire instructor Jay Parsons, right, with the West Virginia University Fire Service Extension, helps two of the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport line-and-maintenance employees put out a fire in the fire training plane during the airport’s annual fire training on Thursday.
The Waverly Volunteer Fire Department provides the water pump and hoses for the exercise.
The annual fire training is necessary for the airport's employees, who must be certified firefighters if something goes wrong at the airport.
Of the 10 line-and-maintenance employees, two of them are new to the airport and have not been through the training before.
"The training is required by the Federal Aviation Administration every year and I wanted to get it done before the air show," Moore said.
The 2012 Air Expo will be held at the airport on Oct. 14 with thousands of area residents expected to watch the performances. If something were to go wrong, Moore said he wants to make sure all of his employees are prepared.
"We are all going to be here for the air show and I want to be sure everyone is ready for anything that could happen," he said. "I don't think anything will, but just in case."
In September 2011, 12 people died as a result of two separate plane accidents at air shows.
Airport and air show officials also held an emergency planning meeting last month.
This training was supposed to take place last week, but Tim Imperia, an instructor with the WVU Fire Service Extension and a firefighter at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., said the fire training plane was out of commission.
"It was broken and we got it Band-Aided to be able to bring it here for this training," Imperia said. "The plane is 12 years old and has never had a major problem."
The airport firefighters formed five, two-men teams to fight engine and cabin fires in the WVU fire training plane as well as high-flame fires on the mat.
The firefighters fought controlled fires in the landing gear, engine and interior cabin of the plane. Each team cleared each of the individual fires three times as well as crash truck operations.
"When we leave in the morning, these guys will know what to do in case of any fire at the airport," Imperia said.