Light aircraft crash rescue scenario played out at London Oxford Airport

The scenario, played out at 7pm on Tuesday July 1, saw three engines from Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service assist the airport crew to respond to the episode, where the light aircraft had ignited on the runway following the crash, threatening its four seriously injured occupants.

Medically-trained firefighters helped treat the mock casualties, which included 16 passengers from the helicopter, at a specially set-up survivor reception centre within the airport.

The incident also involved Thames Valley Police, who liaised with firefighters to identify safe cordons and to begin an incident investigation, and the British Red Cross.

A total of 25 Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue firefighters took part in the operation with seven more from the airport itself.

A positive experience for all

Kidlington Fire Station Manager Gary D'Anger, who took part in the exercise, said: "This was a major training exercise that really tested the response of all involved. It is essential that emergency services have the opportunity to do joint training on mock incidents like the one we carried out at London Oxford Airport.”

"It was excellent to see the training come together in this realistic exercise and the successful result really shows how effectively different agencies can work together in order to resolve very difficult emergency situations."

All mock casualties were successfully removed to the survivors reception centre.

Emergency services involved in the scenario will assess later this month how the exercise went in order to gather any learning for future incidents.

The airport employs 22 full-time firefighters to maintain category 4 at all times with upgrades to 5 and 6 available upon request in order to support the arrival of larger jets at the airport.

Facts about London Oxford Airport

The airport continues to grow in terms of employment and local economic benefits due to an increase since last year in business jet movements and hopes to build on the success of 2007 to 2012 where it was the fastest growing UK airport for business jet movements.

London Oxford Airport is wholly owned by the Reuben Brothers. Their investment activities include private equity, real estate ownership and development. Businesses include data centres, race courses, public houses, hotels, technology and media. At the end of February 2012 the Reubens purchased the London Heliport at London Battersea, the UK’s only CAA licensed heliport.