Trenton-Mercer Airport conducts emergency drill.
Trenton-Mercer, the public airport located in Ewing Township, New Jersey, held a comprehensive emergency exercise this evening in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. In accordance with FAA regulations, such emergency training exercises must be conducted every three years with the participation of fire departments, emergency medical services, and law enforcement agencies. The purpose of conducting such exercises is to evaluate the preparedness level of the First Responders who are expected to be involved in an actual emergency situation. Moreover, such drills offer professionals from various emergency disciplines to learn and train together for real-life scenarios. An exercise also provides a chance to review the response procedures of the emergency service personnel and provides an opportunity to improve and revise the Airport Emergency Plan.
Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes praised the exercise’s significance, stating that “this exercise goes directly to the most important responsibility of government: the welfare and safety of our residents, our emergency responders, and our airport users.” The Trenton-Mercer Airport, a part of the Mercer County Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, is headed by Deputy Administrator Aaron T. Watson, who oversaw the exercise’s progress. Director Watson said, “The important elements of this exercise include the identification, coordination, and assignment of specific agencies and equipment to specific tasks, the effectiveness of the lines of authority and communication, and the actual mechanics of the response and scene management. Trenton-Mercer Airport has an impeccable safety record, and it is tests such as this that help us achieve success.”
The focus of the drill was a staged collision between a passenger aircraft and a single-engine Cessna taxiing across the active runway, creating a fuel leak and shearing off the primary landing gear of the commercial aircraft causing it slid to a stop. Aside from Trenton-Mercer Airport Administration and TTN ARFF Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Station 34, numerous agencies from all levels of government took part in the exercise. These included the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the Mercer County Office of Emergency Management, the Ewing Township Police Department, and the Ewing Township Office of Emergency Management, among others.
Furthermore, various Fire Departments such as the Ewing Township Fire Department, Hopewell Police Department, and the Hopewell Office of Emergency Management, among many others, participated in the event. The EMS, including Trenton EMS TEMS, Capital Health System EMS, Ewing Township EMS, Union Fire Company, and Rescue Squad of Titusville, Robert Wood Johnson Health Network EMS, Lambertville, Kingwood, Princeton, Hightstown, Atlantic City, Martinsville, Gloucester County EMS, Tri-Hampton, North Warren, and Waterford Township EMS, took part as well. Agencies from outside Mercer County also helped with the exercise. Over the course of the exercise, communications vehicles were set up by FirstNet next to the drill site.
In conclusion, exercises such as the one that took place at Trenton-Mercer Airport are crucial for ensuring that emergency response teams are well prepared to handle emergencies efficiently. This drill enabled teams from different agencies to learn together and identify potential areas of weakness in their preparation, thus creating an opportunity to improve response procedures in case of a real emergency. The success of the drill demonstrates the importance of regular evaluation of preparedness measures to ensure the safety of all airport users and emergency responders.