Emergency workers are a lot better prepared to deal with an emergency landing at Faleolo – should it arise – following an emergency drill yesterday.
The drill at the Faleolo International Airport focused on the scenario involving an emergency landing.
The exercise was to test the response by everyone especially organizations whose services are needed during emergencies such as Fire and Emergency Services Authority (F.E.S.A), Ministry of Police, National Health Service, Red Cross Society, Samoa Airport Authority (S.A.A) and other relevant organisations.
General Manager of S.A.A, Magele Viali, said the emergency exercise is an ongoing international standards requirement. The last exercise was in 2015.
“The importance of this exercise is to give an opportunity to organizations whose services are needed during aircraft emergencies,” he said.
“This exercise helps them to be fully prepared when emergencies like these actually happen.
“So not only it will help what each organization know what to do but also for them to learn how they are going to work together.
F.E.S.A. played a leading role in the drill.
Magele also acknowledged the role of the Disaster Management Organization (D.M.O.).
“They are important because the government relies on them to manage natural disasters incidents or when we face serious cases or emergencies such as what we have seen today.
“Some emergencies happen in the middle of the night, so whoever is here at the airport are the first ones to respond while waiting for the Ministry of Police and others.
“If we don’t practice on emergency exercises, then we wouldn’t know how to work together once an incident actually happens.”
According to Magele, the only time that an aircraft fire incident happened was in 1994 when the plane landed and went straight to the field due to a tyre malfunction.
“Just by looking at how we performed today, I think we are improving considering the fact that we have started on this emergency test in the 1980,” he said.
“So the next time we will be conducting this, will be in 2019 and we will also be doing a Tabletop exercise; where we’ll be discussing emergency tests and responses and also look at ways on how to improve more in the coming future.”