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KCI aircraft rescue, firefighting crew takes us inside their training

Posted: 10:07 PM, Jul 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-18 23:36:07-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After two emergency landings at KCI this week, the aircraft rescue and firefighting crews took 41 Action News on its training grounds to share how they prepare.

Kansas City Fire Department Battalion Chief Matt Mauer said any incident starts with questions like, "How much fuel the aircraft is carrying, what type of fuel, how many people are on board, what's the problem with the aircraft and which runway is it going to land on so we can be prepared to deal with it."

When an emergency happens, three trucks are dispatched with a driver and a firefighter on board. Bob Johnson, Airport Operations Manager at KCI, said, "With fire rescue and emergencies and things, we're well prepared. In fact, we exceed the FAA standards here."

Only one person is required to be on each response vehicle. The ARFF at the airport has two people inside. Each truck can spray 1,500 gallons of water per minute.

The preparation varies.

"I could have these trucks working on a wheel fire, an engine fire, a cargo fire, poking holes in an aircraft and introducing water into the aircraft. They would do that in the event of a cargo aircraft," Mauer said.

Although there had not been a runway plane evacuation in years, that training helped the KCI ARFF respond quickly and get everyone off the plane safely.

Johnson said, "It's not just one agency, one group, one person handling all the emergencies here. We have to work."

Just this year, KCI hosted its full-scale disaster exercise. That happens every three years.