Simulated plane crash rescue at Saba’s airport

The Royal Dutch Marines on Thursday gave a demonstration on Saba on some of the operations they carry out as part of their mission in the Dutch Caribbean. The Marines from naval support vessel HMLNS Pelikaan took part in an emergency scenario at Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, simulating a plane crash with fire and serious injuries. The exercises continued on Friday.

Saba fire fighters rescuing a passenger.
Saba fire fighters rescuing a passenger.

The exercise was designed to combine a coordinated emergency response by Saba’s Health, Fire and Police Departments, with the sup port and cooperation of the Marines.

On Thursday, the local population provided volunteer crash victims, as well as concerned family members. Saba’s fire-, medical- and police services represented themselves in a coordinated effort that saved all of the crash victims quickly and safely distinguished the fire.

A retired ambulance was used to simulate the crashed aircraft and the victims were placed inside, prepared with extremely realistic make-up to simulate their injuries.

The first responders were tasked with assessing the condition of the victims to prioritize based on severity of injury. They required hydraulic rescue tools to cut off the roof and peel it back to extricate the pilot and one of the passengers. The Dutch Marines provided peaceful crowd control to the concerned family members.

“Overall it was good and a learning experience for everyone involved,” Carlos Quijada of Saba’s Health Department said of the exercise and the Royal Dutch Marines considered it a success.

Exercises continued on Friday. The Marines visit will conclude with an open day for the general public today, Saturday, 1:00pm- 4:00pm. There will be activities, such as camouflage painting for children as well as for adults. The HMLNS Pelikaan will be in port and persons will be able to take a tour of the ship as well as of Coast Guard vessel Poema, which will also be making a call to Saba.

Saba health-care workers carrying a victim to safety.
Saba health-care workers carrying a victim to safety.
First responders freeing the pilot from the crashed airplane at Saba’s Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport.
First responders freeing the pilot from the crashed airplane at Saba’s Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport.

The Daily Herald.

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