Lowndes County agencies drill for disasters - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes County agencies drill for disasters

June 14, 2007

Valdosta - It started with a 911 call at 8:39 this morning.  "Dispatch all stations, all units.  We have an alert three at the Valdosta Airport," says a 911 operator.

In this scenario, a twin engine plane crashed at the Valdosta Airport.  All passengers on board, seriously injured.  "Initially the call was for two people, one on the ground and one in the cockpit.  After the simulated fire was knocked down, we found there were more inside," says Lowndes County Fire and Rescue Chief Jim Fielding.

Within minutes, the fire department and EMS are hard at work.  All five passengers taken care of.

This scenario was a drill to see if law enforcers were prepared to handle an accident of this magnitude.  A test the fire department says these teams passed with flying colors.  "It went real smooth.  All agencies worked well together and we were one giant team," he adds.

Which is good news to airport officials considering about 50 small aircraft like these are based in Valdosta and getting a call would happen at any time.  "Fortunately we haven't had any accidents in quite a while here but we need to be ready for it," says Airport Director Bob Holliway.  "I think they are definitely prepared for any type of emergency out here."

The agencies usually participate in these lessons of survival annually, and with their help all believe if a disaster strikes in Valdosta, they'll be ready.

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