Departments Train Together with Simulation Airplane Engine Burns

Fire Departments have been fighting flames and doing simulations to prep or a long time.

"It simulates the real thing," Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport Manager Joe Brauer said. "We used to put a pan on it fuel it up and put a fire extinguisher on it."

For the responders on Monday, the simulation wasn't taken lightly.

They do exercises to practice different burns at an airport once every three years.

Even though the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport has never had the call of an engine on fire, it does happen.

"A crash back in the 80s with a company called Midwest Express crashed down in Milwaukee," Brauer said. "The engine imploded and it cut off all their controls."

About 80 responders trained from 4-6 p.m.

The simulation training included the Oneida County Emergency Management, Oneida County Sheriff's Office, Rhinelander Fire Department, Rhinelander Police Department and the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport.

The reason for training together is simple: if this does happen, they'll be responding together because if only one department responded there wouldn't be enough materials to fight the fire.

"We don't get a lot of plane crashes in our area," Rhinelander Assistant Fire Chief Tom Waydick said. "We're glad we don't, but if we do get crashes like this, we will be prepare to do it."

Crew response time to the airport is 4-5 minutes depending on traffic.

Monday's burn costed about $2,500, but the training is invaluable for the responders.

To keep the community safe, a stronger plan is now in place to help those affected if the real thing happens, including the responders themselves.

"It's really important to our customers in particular," Brauer said. "We're a small airport, but we still understand the requirements that we need to follow to make sure we have the safest environment we can provide."

Safety, an old idea keeping the departments' practices fresh and new.

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