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Emergency Response Exercise held at Cayman Brac Airport

10 June 2010

Earlier this week, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) spearheaded an Emergency Response Exercise, which entailed the simulation of an aircraft accident at Gerrard-Smith International Airport (G-SIA) in Cayman Brac at 11:02 am on Monday, 7th June. The Exercise allowed first responders from the CIAA, the Cayman Islands Fire Service, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and the Health Services Authority/Faith Hospital to test their readiness in the event of a real aircraft emergency at the airport.

In this Exercise the teams responded to the landing of a Saab 340 aircraft, with 19 persons on board, which reported that it was experiencing hydraulic failures and requested that all emergency services be put on standby. On landing the aircraft sustained landing gear damage resulting in it veering off the runway onto a grassed area on the south side before bursting into flames. 

Emergency services from G-SIA responded to the accident scene and performed fire fighting and rescue operations. Once fire fighters had extinguished the blaze, the next phase entailed the rescue and recovery of passengers who were then triaged. Passengers were assessed and taken to the Advanced Medical Post (AMP) where further assessment and stablisation was carried out by medical personnel from Faith Hospital. Passengers with serious trauma were systematically transported by ambulance to the Hospital for further treatment.

The next phase of the Exercise was the establishment of an Incident Command Post (ICP) by the Aerodrome Fire Service who was the first authority on the scene. The Fire Service then handed over responsibility for the ICP to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) who immediately set about providing instructions for the preservation of the accident scene and crowd control, in conjunction with the CIAA Security Unit. At the ICP representatives from all emergency responders immediately gathered and commenced liaison with the Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC), which was established in the conference room at Gerrard-Smith International Airport. 

 The ECC was manned by the following representatives: District Commissioner, Mr. Ernie Scott who also served as liaison for Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI); Senior Manager Airport Operations (Cayman Brac) Mr. Rohendis Britton; Station Manager for Cayman Airways, Mrs. Lucille Walton, Faith Hospital Manager, Mrs. Yvette Dilbert; Divisional Officer for the Cayman Brac Fire Service, Mr. Gary Scott; and RCIPS Area Commander, Mr. Malcolm Kay.  Information gathered by the ECC was shared with the National Emergency Operations Centre, which was activated in Grand Cayman for the dissemination of information on activities in relation to the incident.

On hand to observe the management of the crisis from various agencies were: Aerodromes Safety Inspector from the Civil Aviation Authority Cayman Islands (CAA) Mr. John Dick, CEO for the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, Mr. Jeremy Jackson, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mr. Steve Webster, as well as RCIPS Superintendent, Mr. Adrian Seales and RCIPS Press Officer, Ms. Janet Dougall. Also assisting at the accident scene was a representative from the Disaster Management Unit of the Red Cross, Mr. Peter Hughes. The Senior Manager Safety Management Systems for the CIAA, Mr. Andrew McLaughlin was in the field assisting agencies with resources while the CIAA’s Senior Manager Airport Security, Mr. Shane Bothwell, CIAA’s Senior Manager Air Navigation Services, Mr. Walter Ebanks, CIAA’s Senior Manager Engineering & Projects, Mr. Carl McCoy, and the CAA’s Director for Air Navigation Services Regulation, Mr. Alastair Robertson, was on hand to critique the joint response exercise.

Commenting on the staging of the mock exercise, CIAA’s CEO, Mr. Jeremy Jackson, remarked, “The CIAA expresses its gratitude to all agencies involved in this Emergency Response Exercise and thanks the students of the Cayman Brac High School for their participation as volunteer passengers. This Exercise was extremely beneficial to all emergency response agencies and the team at Gerrard-Smith International Airport as it is crucial that we are in a state of readiness at all times in the event of a real aircraft accident on Cayman Brac. Overall, I was pleased with the performance of all emergency response partners whose representatives will attend a debriefing later this week to discuss their respective outcomes and areas that need to be addressed in order to enhance their response to such incidents.” 


Emergency services arrive at the mock accident scene at the Brac Airport minutes after the landing of the Saab 340 aircraft, which veered off the runway and burst into flames.

During the Emergency Response Exercise at the Brac Airport, representatives from the Faith Hospital register volunteer passengers who had been triaged by Paramedics at the mock Advanced Medical Post, before transporting them to the hospital for further treatment.

Firemen rescue a volunteer passenger who had wandered into the bushes next to the mock accident scene at Gerrard-Smith International Airport. Observing their actions during the Emergency Response Exercise was Director of Air Navigation Services Regulation, Mr. Alastair Robertson of the Civil Aviation Authority.

A nurse prepares a volunteer passenger from the Cayman Brac High School to be transported to the Faith Hospital for further treatment. Observing the information on the passenger’s assessment details is Mr. Alastair Robertson of the Civil Aviation Authority who was on hand to critique the Emergency Response Exercise at the Brac Airport. 

A nurse from the Faith Hospital stabilizes a volunteer passenger from the Cayman Brac High School during the Emergency Response Exercise, in the presence of a representative of the Disaster Management Unit of the Cayman Islands Red Cross.

Representatives from the Fire Service, the RCIPS and Cayman Airways discuss the passenger manifest for the mock Emergency Response Exercise at the Brac airport, to ensure that all passengers had been accounted for.

Liaising with the CIAA’s Senior Manager Safety Management Systems, Mr. Andrew McLaughlin (right), is Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Steve Webster of the Cayman Islands Fire Service who was on hand to observe the performance of the Brac fire officers at the Emergency Response Exercise at the Brac Airport. 

Fire officers take a well-deserved break after completing fire fighting and rescue operations at the mock aircraft accident at the Brac airport.

If you have any queries, kindly contact:
Caren A. Thompson-Palacio
Communications & Marketing Manager |Cayman Islands Airports Authority
Email: | Telephone: 345.244.5809 


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