Honolulu airport ready for emergencies

Published On: Jul 09 2013 01:09:00 PM HST

Emergency officials here in Hawaii say the Asiana Airlines tragedy in San Francisco is a learning opportunity for airports around the world. They have been keeping a close watch on the investigation into the crash landing.

"It's a little frightening to see such a large aircraft in distress like that," said Dr. James Ireland, medical director for Honolulu International Airport. "But, the fact that so many people were saved, and so many people survived really is a testament to the responders in San Francisco."

Responders say should the worst happen here, they’d be ready.

"They've taken this very seriously and over the years have really prepared not only with training, but also supplies to be ready for all hazards, all emergencies for the airport, because it's like a little city out here," said Dr. Ireland.

"The airport is growing ever fast. I mean, we're getting larger jets, more people. We're getting congested so we have to make sure that we can make a comprehensive response," said Airports Fire Chief Martinez Jacobs.

So they train constantly doing drills and simulating a crash landing of a passenger airliner.

"They're trained in medical, how to do triage, hazardous materials, how to get the trucks to the scene safely and I think the most important thing and the thing the public's interested in – how quickly they can get there and the types of vehicles they have right now," said University of Hawaii professor Stacy Rogers.

One of the most powerful tools in their arsenal – the Oshkosh Stryker 3000.  It features a "snozzle" – a needle nozzle that can penetrate a plane's fuselage to extinguish a fire.

It's the same kind of equipment that firefighters used to save lives in Saturday's crash in San Francisco.


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