Local fire departments practice for emergency crash landing - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Local fire departments practice for emergency crash landing

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

It's a Federal Aviation Administration requirement for the fire department at the Chicago Rockford International Airport to hold trainings once a year in case there is a crash landing in our area. 

Officials say emergency landings have happened at the airport in the past, but it doesn't happen very often. Just last year, there was a situation where several outside departments had to be called in to deal with an emergency landing. 

"Well, you're never going to have enough personnel at the beginning. That's almost impossible," Chicago Rockford International Airport Deputy Chief Brian Kunce says.  

The Byron, North Park and Rockton Fire Departments all joined in the exercise this afternoon because there are only two fire fighters on duty at the airport at all times. So, if a crash landing were to happen, they would need the extra help. 

But, fire officials say fighting a fire on a plane is much different than one to a home or any other structure. That's because fire fighters are competing with the wind.  

"They're fighting against wind and all the elements because they actually have to lob the water on the rather than attacking it directly which could push the fuel and the flames outward which could cause another hazard," Brandin Waders, a firefighter with the North Park Fire Department says.  

The airport's fire department says they hope to involve more local departments in the future. 

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