Units conduct drills at Langley-Eustis to prepare for aircraft crashes


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — First responders at Joint Base Langley-Eustis held a training to prepare them for an aircraft crash.

JBLE Emergency Services Deputy Fire Chief Scott Zrakovi said around 50 people from different agencies came together to train.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to utilize resources, not only at Langley but here at Fort Eustis. It gives us an opportunity to talk, communicate, and go through the procedures as if it was a real world incident,” Zrakovi said.

The training included responding to a ship that caught on fire after the aircraft crashed into it.

Responders had to rescue crews members from the ship and put out the fire, while also pulling airplane passengers from the water.

“That stretches our resources and makes us have to make some decisions on how to approach it,” Zrakovi said.

But he says the training makes them better prepared.

That’s why they do this exercise at least annually with other trainings throughout the year.

“It’s very important we do this. We want to insure we respond to the best of our abilities and have no issues and provide the protection and coverage like we say we do,” Zrakovi said.

That training can also be used off base. Zrakovi says they have agreements with agencies where they can respond to these types of scenarios in real life.

The learning does not just end with the training.

After the exercise wrapped up, officials went over their strengths and weaknesses to learn what they should do in the future. 

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