Mock helicopter crash tests emergency response

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 11, 2003

When it comes to responding to an emergency, time is of the essence.

On Thursday, local agencies were drilled and evaluated on how fast they were able to react to a simulated helicopter crash at Troy's airport.

The situation was made as real as possible with a 911 call and a transport to the Edge Regional Medical Center.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Agencies who responded to the crash included the Troy Fire Department, the Troy Police Department, Haynes Ambulance, the Pike County Sheriff's office, fire and rescue trucks from Sikorsky Support Services Inc., the Emergency Management Association and the Red Cross.

"We're really looking at the agencies and what they need to improve," said Pike County Red Cross Director Jane Thrash.

Each agency has a different response time based on location; the Department of Defense has a set of ideal response times.

On Thursday, Sikorsky's response time was a minute or less because they were so close to the crash site. The TFD responded in seven minutes.

Thrash said tornadoes, plane crashes, large fires and bioterrorism attacks would all warrant the cooperation of several agencies.

If the disaster is large enough and there is a need for medical airlift, Lee Estes, who is the general manager of Pike Aviation, said Flat Iron, a helicopter Army medical evacuation unit based in Ft. Rucker would respond.

"It depends on what kind of aircraft crashes," Estes said. "If it's a military aircraft, they will respond. If it's civil