Firefighters need to train for different scenarios and for departments near an airport, which means they are trained for a plane crash.

“There was a crash at Cuyahoga County Airport about five years ago that killed four college students,” said Paul Mannion, flight instructor and retired firefighter and paramedic with the mentor fire department. “It was very tragic and the fire departments we are working with this week are the same fire departments that responded to this crash.”

This week, four fire departments met at Cuyahoga County Airport, 26300 Curtiss Wright Parkway in Richmond Heights, for a three-day flight accident training course. In addition to the Highland Heights, Richmond Heights and Willoughby Hills departments, airport maintenance staff, who also act as fire fighters, took part



Cuyahoga County Airport Fire Department Training 2

Approximately 60 members of the local fire department participated in aircraft accident training at Cuyahoga County Airport this week.


University hospitals were also involved as they provided first-aid services to paramedics and paramedics, said Robert Gandee, Willoughby Hills fire chief, said Robert Gandee.

“The intention is to train as many people as possible,” said the boss. “The reality is this is not really a new education. This is more of a review of some of the different things we encounter in order to protect a jurisdiction that has an airport.”

By the end of the third day, around 60 members of the departments should be trained, Gandee said.

“If you are a firefighter, paramedic, or first responder, training continues,” he said. “Things are always changing. It’s a good rating and we remember each other.

“In one of the systems in particular, there is some discussion about the aircraft parachute systems,” he added. “There are various safety issues and dangers associated with this. Therefore, the point is to give our members information so that they are safe when responding to an incident involving an aircraft with such a safety system.”

According to Gandee, it was a collaboration between the fire departments involved in the training.

“The departments have trained a lot over the years,” he said. “We want to be prepared for any kind of emergency. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We are determined to do more exercise with our neighbors because we are all interdependent.”

The training is a “refresher” for Steve Lucic, who has been a firefighter and paramedic with the Willoughby Hills Fire Department for 32 years.

“Things are always changing and technology is growing,” said Lucic. “Every day a plane comes over our city and you never know. With the other departments – it’s a working relationship with them. It’s a comfort zone.”

The likelihood of a firefighter responding to an airplane accident is unlikely throughout his career, said Mannion, who has been running these training opportunities for 15 years.

Still, it’s an opportunity for firefighters to refresh their memories of operating safely at the scene of an accident and to learn how injuries to a patient in an airplane crash would be different from a car accident, he said.

Fire departments that are not necessarily located near an airport can also participate, as the likelihood of a plane crash outside an airport is higher than an on-site accident, Mannion said.

“I’m always happy to agree with fire departments who have an interest,” said Mannion. “The firefighters’ dedication to patients is great, whether it’s an airplane accident, a motor vehicle accident, or someone who just has difficulty breathing. I’m always impressed.”