First Responder Safety at a Small Aircraft or Helicopter Accident Scene   [open ms word - 95KB]

"Fortunately, airplane accidents rarely occur, so few occupations have specific training to work at an aircraft accident site (usually only airport rescue firefighters (ARFF) and accident investigators). There are usually about 1500-1700 accidents in the US per year. A majority of these accidents involve small aircraft or helicopters. Most current training for aircraft accidents involves scenarios on larger commercial aircraft accidents. Make no mistake, larger aircraft accidents represent the large-casualty situations and demand that first responder skills are sharp and ready. Statistically, however, you as a first responder are much more likely to encounter an accident involving a small aircraft or helicopter. A lot of different groups have a stake in an airplane accident: the operator, the rescuers (from many disciplines), the manufacturers and the investigators. They all have something to offer and something to gain in sharing their knowledge. In this article, we will cover how the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] got into this training, how a lot of different groups helped contribute, how the training is laid out, and finally, some of the considerations and hazards at an accident scene."

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