The Northwest Regional Aviation consortium will be conducting a disaster response exercise in Snohomish County on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. Aircraft from Snohomish, King, Pierce, and Spokane County Sheriff’s Departments, along with the Washington State Patrol, U.S. Navy, FBI, Customs Border Patrol Air-Marine, Airlift Northwest, and Life Flight Network, will be coordinating joint response efforts.

Seattle Police, Seattle Fire, Snohomish County Fire Technical Rescue, Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management, Sky Valley Fire, Snohomish and King County Volunteer Search & Rescue Association, Arlington Municipal Airport, Providence Regional Medical Center, Everett Fire & EMS, Naval Station Everett, Sno911, and WSDOT-Aviation will all be supporting the regional aircraft response. Northwest Regional Aviation has learned from real-world emergency response that knowing the capabilities of partner agencies, and who to call for assistance is critical when disaster happens. Having pre-plans in place and the knowledge of how to execute the pre-plans greatly helps in an organized response to a large-scale emergency.

Training will focus on preparing for a potential real-world earthquake and tsunami disaster response. The overall scenario will be that an earthquake/tsunami has landed in Washington. Major damages have taken place in many high-rise building, older building, and elevated highways. Ground transportation is severely restricted in the region. Supporting scenarios for the exercise include water rescues, high-rise rescues, K-9 building searches, aerial surveys of impacted areas, live video downlink operations, rescue teams, and equipment transport to support structural collapse. “We’ve done this exercise for years, and this is our way of streamlining response time and getting each unit familiar with each other” said Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Director of Communications Courtney O’Keefe.

Residents who live nearby may hear mass warning announcements. They may also see active emergency response vehicles and low-flying aircraft around the base and in the immediate area. Flights will also be taken to the Arlington airport as part of their drill. Due to this increase of activity, the North gate will be closed between 10 am and 12 pm while the main gate will remain open. Spectators are able to watch and there will be areas in Everett and the Arlington airport that can accommodate them. The drill will take place on June 8 in the event of inclement weather on June 6.