A NASA Ames emergency response fire simulation slated for Sept. 7 may create some smoke and flames visible to the public, but NASA says not to worry: it's only a drill.
The NASA Ames Fire Department will conduct the emergency response fire training on the west ramp of the Moffett Federal Airfield through roughly 2 p.m. today, a statement said. Smoke plumes and flames may be visible from U.S. Highway 101 during this time, however, officials expect little to no smoke, NASA said.
"The session will include a live burn created by an aircraft fire simulator at the field," according to the statement. "The drill is intended to prepare Ames fire responders and Ames Emergency Operations Center staff for real-life fire emergencies."
Anastasiya Maynich, emergency management specialist at Ames, said these drills are conducted annually per FAA requirements. This year’s simulation is focusing on Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and airfield response, and about 30 personnel are involved.
“No actual aircraft is used during this exercise … ” Maynich said. “This exercise is for the airfield operations and EOC functions during an emergency. For the live burn exercise, every year they have an airplane simulator with live controlled fire.”
Responders participating in the simulation will practice protocols for the 24 hours immediately following a fire disaster, such as effectively timing an emergency response, differentiating between critical and non-critical information during a crisis and how to respond to potential future crisis situations, according to NASA.
“By conducting airfield exercises on (a) regular basis, (we) will identify gaps and capabilities of the airfield,” Maynich said. “This exercise will provide a road map for developing an effective emergency plans and training program.”