UPDATE 6:55 p.m.: According to Emily Jacobs, Program Coordinator at Humboldt County Aviation Division,
the Humboldt County Airport manager, the false alarm functioned as a very effective drill. “The aircraft rescue firefighters were fully suited and on scene within two minutes,” she said. “This was good practice and I’m just really proud of them.”
The siren buttons, Jacobs explained, are placed strategically, in case a worker observes a problem “such as an aircraft coming in wrong.” The worker can immediately push the button without having to make a phone call. The aircraft rescue firefighters are trained to “jump in their turnouts and get in their vehicles and head out to the field” in under three minutes, she said.
“We have ongoing training once a week and then, once a year, they have to go to practice putting out fires on burning planes,” explained Jacobs. “They actually get inside the fuselage of a burning plane and have to carry people out. [Note: these are test dummies—not real people.] This is why our airport is so safe.”
Jacobs said that the airport has tours available for students, seniors, historical groups, etc. Contact the airport for more information.
Humboldt County airport manager Emily Jacobs,
Program Coordinator at Humboldt County Aviation Division, just reassured the Outpost that the loud sirens being heard by the airport were set off by accident. Apparently, an employee doing recycling inadvertently hit a button that activated the alarm.
Sorry you all were worried but it is nothing to fret about.
Jacobs asked that since we’re bringing up recycling, could LoCO mention that this airport was among the first to begin recycling cans coming off the airplanes. In fact, she said, employees were disgusted at throwing away all the cans that come off each plane so they began, on their own initiative, collecting the items by digging through the trash themselves. Jacobs said that our airport had the first United airport station to recycle in the country. Now, she said, all United stations do it.
Huzzah for our little airport and huzzah that the sirens didn’t indicate any problems.