Alex Gallemore  

It's all hands on deck for the 50 members of the aviation fire crew at this year's airshow.

Since October last year fire teams and event organisers have been arranging extra firefighting equipment and crews to be on stand-by for Farnborough '98.

Aviation firemen have been drafted from Heathrow, West Freugh, Aberporth and Porton Down to assist the Farnborough station team.

Station Officer Gordon Jolly says: "The number one priority for the team is to ensure total fire safety throughout the entire site and around the surrounding area.

"Teams are positioned at strategic sites to enable crews to arrive at an accident area in the shortest time possible. For four days the team has been checking equipment and carrying out test drills to enhance the reaction times."

On Saturday a simulated incident was created to test all the emergency services. It was reported that a Harrier collided with a Lockheed Martin F-16 and wreckage had fallen into crowds at the show. In addition a pilot had ejected and landed in nearby woodlands.

The mock disaster has to be one of the worst-case scenarios for all the emergency services," says Jolly. "Fifty volunteers at the accident area were dressed to create a realistic feel and another played the role of the missing pilot.

"Luckily, everything went according to plan."

Source: Flight Daily News