What would happen if there’s a major airplane disaster; or there’s an unexpected tsunami or earthquake? On Tuesday, June 7, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and many other law enforcement, medical facilities and military installations will be participating in a regional aircraft emergency response training exercise in Snohomish County to make sure that all area agencies are on the same page if such a disaster were to happen.
The drill will occur from approx. 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Tuesday. It includes aircraft and first responders from state, county, and local partner agencies in the Northwest Regional Aviation consortium. The training focuses on preparing for a potential real-world earthquake and tsunami disaster response.
The exercise will take place at several locations throughout the county, including Arlington Municipal Airport, Providence Regional Medical Center, Naval Station Everett and the Gold Bar Fire Station. Residents nearby those locations may hear mass warning announcements, active emergency response vehicles, boat activity, and low-flying aircraft.
Aircraft from Snohomish, King, and Pierce County Sheriff’s Departments along with Washington State Patrol, U.S. Navy, FBI, Customs Border Patrol, Airlift Northwest and Life Flight Network will be coordinating joint response efforts. Supporting scenarios for the exercise will include water rescues, high-rise rescues, K-9 building searches, aerial surveys, and rescue team and equipment transports.
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, 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, Arlington Airport, Providence Regional Medical Center, Everett Fire & EMS, Naval Station Everett, SnoCounty911 and WSDOT-Aviation will all be participating in the exercise.
The exercise will also help the Navy potentially support local emergency responders in a large-scale organized response. One of the critical tests is the communication between various agencies.
As they say: “DO NOT BE ALARMED. THIS IS ONLY A DRILL.” But it’s a big one!