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Fake plane crash helps rescue workers stay sharp

A trail of bodies, a crushed car and the flaming husk of a silverseaplane greeted firefighters during a mock disaster Thursday morningin Stanley Park.

A trail of bodies, a crushed car and the flaming husk of a silver seaplane greeted firefighters during a mock disaster Thursday morning in Stanley Park.

The fake plane crash, which involved Vancouver firefighters and police, park rangers, and Ministry of Forest protection staff, took months to plan, said Capt. Gabe Roder, spokesman for the Vancouver Fire Department.

“We’re going to operate this scenario as if it was absolutely real,” Roder said prior to the practice disaster involving a seaplane crash just west of Brocton Oval.

Striking paramedics did not take part in the exercise.

In the situation, the loaded plane struck four pedestrians and a car with two occupants. It burst into flames and started a fire in Stanley Park.

Firefighers doused the plane fire (actually a propane barbecue next to the plane) and began treating the eight “injured” actors. Others sprayed foam on an imaginary forest fire. Two dummies were later cut from the mangled car.

The wounded were reportedly taken by VFD pickup to St. Paul’s hospital.

Later, a helicopter dumped two large buckets of seawater onto the imaginary fire as it grew too big for firefighters.

“Doing these sorts of exercises will ... make us better if we ever have to deal with the real situation,” Roder said.

 
 
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