03/31/12 105 W, 1 I - + 11 - 6 Airport Drill, 1979

While we ramp up (ha!) for this morning's disaster drill at the airport (camera, check. Umbrella, check), here's a blast from the past on that subject. November 4, 1979. Alarm sounded at 2:33 p.m. Within 30 seconds, recounted the news account, crash trucks were spraying water on smoke bombs. Eleven minutes later, Morrisville fire units arriving and began administering aid to the "patients." Response times from off-airport are considerably better three decades later. We might even have some readers who were there, and can tell about the "old days" at the airport fire department. Click to enlarge:

News & Observer photo

Yep. I was working that day. We even landed a MAST chopper from Ft Bragg. Of course, that patient had already been transported, along with a few other ‘trauma’ patients to Rex….
DJ - 03/31/12 - 15:05

More- On that day I was riding 2nd on #4 (then called CT-4). We had upstaffed for the drill to two per truck (we normally had, at that time, four people total on duty during the day and three at night). My job that day was to get out and ‘triage’ the ‘victims’. I remember the three there that are in the picture at the ‘beam’. My ‘triage’ kit that day consisted of a carpenter’s apron (emblazoned with ‘RDU CFR’), dozens of triage tags, fishing weights, and a hole puncher. I filled out a tag for each person, and tied it to them. I tore off a perforated corner of the tag, punched a hole in it, and attached one of the fishing weights to it, and then dropped it at the patient’s location. Each tag, as well as the tear-off corners, had a serial number. By matching the numbers on the corners I dropped to the main tag number, FAA investigators would know where each patient was found, aiding in their investigation of the crash. I also had to wear full turnout gear while triaging that day- cotton duck turnout coat and pants with nylon liners, leather gloves from Pete’s Hardware in Cary, and my brand new Cairns #770 Philadelphina helmet, complete with my number (9) on the front in Scotchlite, and EMERG MED TECH crescents on each side.

Oh yeah, and the reason it only took 30 seconds to begin spraying the smoke pots? The ‘crash site’ was about 100 yards from the fire station.
DJ - 03/31/12 - 19:30

Thanks for the memories, Dale. We really need a picture of you then to go with the narrative!
Legeros - 03/31/12 - 23:23

Mike- there is a slide somewhere. I will see if I can find it.
DJ - 04/01/12 - 23:08

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