Ford Airport practices for fiery crash emergency

Ford Airport drill
Crews work to put out a fire during an emergency drill at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. (May 18, 2017)


CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It was organized chaos at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Thursday as workers conducted their triennial emergency drill.

Students from the West Michigan Aviation Academy acted as victims for the “crisis.”

Ford Airport drill
Crews work to put out a fire during an emergency drill at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. (May 18, 2017)

The fiery plane, victims, and scenario were all staged so that the airport can be ready for any emergency that may arise.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports like the Ford Airport to conduct one full-scale emergency drill every three years.

Airport police chief Joe Dancz said things went relatively smoothly this year.

“Today, I think the initial response was really good from our partners,” he said.

Ford Airport drill
Crews work to put out a fire during an emergency drill at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. (May 18, 2017)

Dancz noted one issue: some complications with the communication system, which is set to be replaced by the end of 2018.

The airport will add an 800-system where the airport officers and other West Michigan agencies can easily communicate with each other.

Dancz explained that these drills are meant to test communication capabilities and see what they can improve on.