Redding Fire says they're prepared in case of similar SFO crash incident
Firefighters at Fire Station Number 7 at the Redding Airport said they are prepared in the event of a plane crash.
Captain Mike Sawyer, who is stationed at the airport, said the station is unique because it has both an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting vehicle (ARFF) and a fire engine.
Captain Sawyer said that an ARFF is one of the main tools used to fight a plane fire because it shoots water and foam from a distance.
Sawyer said although the Redding Airport is on the smaller side, there are still a lot of military and fire planes that fly in and out of it and in the event of an emergency, a commercial airliner could land as well.
Once a year the FAA visits the station to ensure they are ready to act quickly in case of an emergency.
The FAA tests firefighters' skills at navigating the airstrip as well as drilling their response time.
It is a national standard that by the time an emergency call is made, crews need to be dressed and waiting for a plane within three minutes.
Sawyer said a situation like the recent crash-landing in San Francisco is rare but that it could happen – even in Redding.
"You always have that in the back of your mind," said Sawyer. "This airport can handle an aircraft of that size and if an aircraft of that size has a problem, they would be able to land here. We have the capability to handle something like that but that's a large scale incident and would pretty much deplete all of our resources in the area."
One person is always staffed on the ARFF in case of an emergency and even if there is a non-related fire call in the area, the person staffing the ARFF does not leave.
Captain Sawyer also said that when disaster strikes, the first priority is to handle possible passengers on board and to aid anyone who might be injured in the accident.
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