Just a drill: Simulated plane crash Feb. 22 in Union
Union — Union Fire/EMS and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office will be the lead agencies responding to a simulated aircraft crash, which occurs in a remote hillside location off the Sennebec Road in Union Feb. 22.
Motorists in the area are asked to be alert for responders and response equipment, which may be operating on or near the Sennebec Road between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
This rescue exercise will test the ability of area emergency responders to work with private sector response partners to travel to the site, conduct rescue operations then return victims to a responder staging area.
Fire departments from Appleton, Warren, Washington, and Hope will join Union in the exercise. Private sector responders include members of the Bog Brigade Snowmobile Club from Warren; The Hill and Gully Club of Washington; the Appleton Trail Makers of Appleton, and the Hatchet Mountain Snowmobile Club from Hope. The Maine Warden Service, Rangers from the Maine Forest Service and The Maine National Guard will also play supporting roles representing their agencies.
In 2011, Knox County EMA began smaller scale exercises with individual agencies and snowmobile clubs for single-victim, off-road rescues. This was in response to a previously identified emergency response gap for incidents which might occur during severe winter storms or in state park or other off-road incidents. Two “Rescue-Boggins," capable of being towed by snowmobile or ATVs, were procured and placed with fire departments in the region. These units join two privately held Rescue-Boggins already in the county giving a much improved region-wide severe weather or back country response capability.
Saturday’s exercise will be the first which tests the capabilities of a multi-agency and multi-club coordinated response to a complex incident scenario.
Responders involved with the exercise will stage and work from the Union Masonic Hall on the Sennebec Road. The over-snow response follows existing snowmobile trails approximately 1.5 miles to the simulated crash site.