ARFF Batallion Chief Steve Simpson monitors the Airport’s emergency response training exercise on April 19.

There was smoke, flames, makeup and fake injuries. They were all key components for a major emergency response training exercise at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport on April 19. The Airport’s Aircraft Rescue Firefighters (ARFF) are the first responders for any incident on the airfield. They are the first to take incident command. For this exercise, a mobile trainer that spits out flames was used to simulate a jet crash on Runway 11-29. The firefighters attacked the flames and then were joined by other emergency responders and Airport staff to follow through on training related to treating and transferring injured passengers. A group of volunteers doubled as the passengers and were sent to area hospitals that were also testing emergency response plans. The Federal Aviation Administration requires all commercial airports to conduct this live exercise every three years.