Emergency response reviewed at Texas airport
By Barbara Ramirez
Corpus Christi Caller-Times (Texas)
Copyright 2007 Caller-Times Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved
Representatives of more than a dozen agencies on Thursday discussed ways to better control emergency situations at Corpus Christi International Airport.
They included representatives of the fire department, police department, Red Cross and airport safety departments. They focused on procedures needed should a plane crash at the airport.
The local and federal groups met at the airport's Hayden W. Head Terminal for their annual review of the Airport Emergency Plan, required by the Federal Aviation Administration. Every three years, a full-scale exercise puts the plan in motion. The next one is expected in 2008.
"Who is the main command?" Jeannie Squailia, airport command dispatch asked while reviewing a possible scenario.
"Well, what happens is that you unify command," said John Hyland, chief of public safety for the airport.
Squailia listened as Hyland explained the National Incident Management System, which the Department of Homeland Security developed so that responders from different jurisdictions and disciplines could better work together to respond to natural disasters and emergencies, including acts of terrorism, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency's Web site.
"You're going to be calling a lot of people," Corpus Christi Fire Department Battalion Chief J.W. Prall told Squailia, describing the chaotic rush of communication that follows emergencies. "You're going to be calling everybody and their brother."
Agency officials spoke of the need to preserve evidence while responding to emergencies, including injured passengers and scattered plane debris.
Jotting down ideas, each person discussed how to best put their agency to use.