Dothan Regional Airport Emergency Preparedness

The Dothan Regional Airport had a potential plane-crash scenario. Although emergencies like this are uncommon, the fire department at the airport is constantly training to make sure they are prepared if a disaster strikes.

Fire fighters at the Dothan Regional Airport are prepared to handle a number of situations. When an emergency tone rings, they quickly get into their turn-out gear and rush to assess the problem.

"The air traffic control tower does the ring down. Alert one is minor, two is an engine light is on or three is a plane crash," said Captain Glenn Temples of Dothan Airport, Fire Department.

Last Friday an alert three was sent out for the first time in 18 months. Because of regular, intense training, fire fighters were able to provide assistance fast.

Director Art Morris said, "The response was excellent. Our trucks were on the scene immediately and they established command."

After September 11 of 2001, airport security has been tighter. In addition to performing routine safety checks and responding to emergency calls, Fire fighters at the Dothan Airport are trained to assist with securing the airport.

"Fire fighters play a role in airplane security, they help with perimeter patrols and its a team effort," said Captain Temples.

The Dothan Airport is home to several major businesses. Together Flight Line and Pemco, both of which are located at the airport, employ more than 800 people. The Director of the airport says without the full time fire department, these businesses would not choose to operate in Dothan.

In just a few months, the Dothan Regional Airport will hold its annual emergency simulation exercise.

The drill is a chance for fire fighters, control tower operators and dispatchers from the city of Dothan to create a plan for airport emergencies.