Visit to Manchester International Airport Fire Station

This evening 11 team callout members, together with 3 of our 4 Mountain Rescue Land Rovers travelled to Manchester International Airport Fire Station, where we were greeted by Paul Johnson, one of the officers based at the station.

The purpose of the visit was to increase our knowledge in the work of the airport fire and rescue service, particularly with regards to hazards surrounding incidents with aircraft.

The evening began with a couple of powerpoint presentations, which outlined the roles of the emergency services in the event of a major incident, and where the Mountain Rescue resources could be utilised. Examples of the unique hazards found with aircraft incidents followed, with emphasis on, above everything else, ensuring that we as individuals are safe.

Real life incidents were highlighted, along with the importance of preserving the scene.

Next we moved on to a tour of the main airport fire station, and a display of the equipment carried on each of the appliances. The staff also deal with domestic incidents within the airport site, including building fires and RTC’s, whilst maintaining enough appliances to meet the service’s legal requirements to reach any incident involving an aircraft within 3 minutes.

A quick tour of the fire and rescue service station’s control tower followed, where personnel monitor any incidents occuring across the airport complex, including fire alarms, and also keep an eye on each of the runways, with clear views across the airfield.

Finally there was a demonstration of the cab mounted water cannons, which have to be capable of spraying water the length of the largest aircraft which land at the airport, which is currently 70m.

The team would like to thank Paul Johnson and all staff at the fire station for their hospitality and for allowing the team the opportunity to view the work of the service. Next week another contingent of Bolton MRT personnel will visit the station, allowing all of our personnel to become aware of the hazards associated with aircraft incidents.

We visit Manchester International Airport on a biannual basis to maintain awareness of large aircraft incidents. We also regularly visit BAE Systems Ltd at Warton with similar regards to military aircraft and City Airport Manchester (Barton) for light aircraft and helicopters.