Photos by Mike Chipowsky
Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) conducted a full-scale emergency exercise on May 4 that included more than two dozen agencies and several hundred volunteers, leaving Mercer County better prepared for a real emergency, County Executive Brian M. Hughes said.
The exercise, which is required by the Federal Aviation Administration every three years, evaluated the level of preparedness of the first responders expected to be involved in an actual emergency at TTN. Professionals of various emergency disciplines were able to train together at a real-life venue and were critiqued about response procedures with an opportunity to improve and revise the Airport Emergency Plan, if necessary.
“This exercise goes directly to the most important responsibility of government: the welfare and safety of our residents, our emergency responders and our airport users,” Hughes said.
The airport is part of the Mercer County Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, headed by Deputy Administrator Aaron T. Watson, who carefully monitored the progress of the exercise.
“The important elements of this exercise included the identification, coordination and assignment of specific agencies and equipment to specific tasks, the effectiveness of the lines of authority and communication, and the actual mechanics of the response and scene management,” Watson said. “Trenton-Mercer Airport has an impeccable safety record, and it is tests such as this that help us achieve success.”
In the simulation, which was coordinated by Airport Manager Melinda Montgomery, during the landing of a passenger aircraft, a single-engine aircraft began taxiing across the active runway, colliding with the commercial aircraft. The collision sheared off the main landing gear of the commercial aircraft, causing it to slide to a stop and causing a fuel leak.
Along with TTN Administration and TTN Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting-Station 34, agencies from every level of government took part in this exercise, including the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, Mercer County Office of Emergency Management, Ewing Township Police Department, Ewing Township Office of Emergency Management, Hopewell Township Police Department, Hopewell Office of Emergency Management, New Jersey Division of Aeronautics, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Also assisting were: Ewing Township Fire Department-Station 30, Prospect Heights Fire Company-Station 31, West Trenton Fire Company-Station 33, Union-Titusville Fire Company-Station 53, Trenton EMS, Capital Health System EMS, Ewing Township EMS, Union Fire Company and Rescue Squad of Titusville, Pennington Fire Company-Station 51, Hopewell Fire Department-Station 52, Lawrence Township Fire Department-Station 20, Hamilton Township Fire Department-Station 10, Trenton Fire Department-Station 70, West Windsor Emergency Services, East Windsor Rescue Squad District One, Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad, Lawrence Township Emergency First Aid Squad, Hopewell Fire Department Emergency Medical Unit, Nottingham Ambulance Squad, Robert Wood Johnson Health Network EMS, Robbinsville Division of Fire, East Windsor Rescue Squad District Two, the Salvation Army and the Mercer County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Fire, Rescue and EMS agencies from outside Mercer County.
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