Three day Fairchild drill tests first responders



Posted on November 19, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 7:21 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--A drill near Fairchild Air Force Based alarmed dozens of people Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The training has one exercise which lasts three days.

“Two UHI helicopters have crashed and we are responding to a mishap,” said ARW Director of Inspections Major Sean Howlett

“We spend months planning these exercises to ensure that we have exactly what we need nailed down and making sure that we have everybody who is goin to respond, respond to the situation,” said Howlett.

Fairchild Air Force Base will conduct an operation to see how their first responders handle an aircraft accident. Local firefighters are assisting Fairchild emergency workers.

“In a normal situation if we had any type of off base mishap we would have both local and Fairchild respond to the situation,” said Howlett.

READ: Drills create extra noise outside the Fairchild Air Force Base gates

Howlett said the exercise involves the entire base from medical, fire and security forces to individuals impersonating the media.

“That's to make sure we are able to handle both real world inquiries as well as handle things that would pop us as well as Facebook, twitter, posts about what is going on,” said Howlett.

After first responders leave the scene like in the real world, the investigation begins.

“For the next two or three days we will be doing the recovery, so we will bring the safety investigators out here.  They will take a look at what's going on and see how they could piece together and find out exactly what happened,” said Howlett.

Base officials are asking anyone in the area to follow directions from emergency responders and exercise officials.

“We hope that something like this never happens, but in the event that it does, we want to make sure our personnel are trained and ready to respond,” said Howlett.