05:49 AM

DFW International Airport Successfully Stages “LifeSaver 2008” Simulated Emergency Drill Exercise

Hundreds of volunteers, area hospitals and first responders take part in evaluation of DFW’s emergency response procedures

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Texas (May 17, 2008) — DFW International Airport today successfully staged its triennial LifeSaver Drill to test the Airport’s response to an emergency situation. Today’s LifeSaver Drill 2008 exercise was based on the Airport’s response to all of the potential aspects of an explosion that encompasses both a terminal and airplane, including aircraft and structure fires, rescues and recovery.  

Within a few hours, DFW’s emergency response teams had the situation under control and were evaluating not only those wounded in the scenario, but also next steps for action and the impact to operations at the Airport. A group of nine independent evaluators from across the nation will issue their final grades on DFW’s response to the scenario over the next few weeks.  

"This is the most extensive training and emergency exercise ever conducted by DFW and our employees and key partners in the airport community performed with professionalism, sensitivity and amazing calm under very strenuous conditions," said Jim Crites, DFW executive vice president of operations. "Everyone is well aware that the consequences can be severe in airport-related emergencies, and we need to use a holistic approach to protect lives and preserve property. We did well and all learned a lot, and our airport preparedness is certain to be even more improved."  

The purpose of the drill is to exercise and evaluate DFW’s emergency response procedures. The process involved not only a mock disaster site, but also activation of several phases of the Airport’s emergency functionality, including DFW’s Emergency Operations Center, Family Assistance Program and the Airport Operations Center, along with mutual aid requests to area police and fire agencies.  

“Our training is always an ongoing learning process,” said Alan Black, DFW’s Director of Public Safety. “We’re constantly learning new ways of responding to different types of emergencies, so we are ready when an emergency happens.”  

More than 300 volunteers from across North Texas took part in the LifeSaver Drill, with many donning makeup to simulate injuries to victims and survivors.  

“We lead the nation and even teach emergency response techniques to firefighters from around the world, but to actually have the opportunity to train in this high intensity environment is a great experience for everyone involved,” said Brian McKinney, DFW’s Fire Chief. “It puts a lot more urgency into your training when you can see the people you need to help right in front of you.”

The Baylor Health Care System used the drill to test its Mass Trauma Preparedness, and key response vehicles from area mutual aid partners also took part to gauge their emergency response procedures. American Airlines activated its CAARE Program team as part of the drill. 

DFW has staged and passed nine of these drills in its history. The drill is staged every three years as required by the Federal Aviation Administration as part of the Airport’s ongoing safety certification program.  

Participating Organizations: FBI

Transportation Security Administration

Centers for Disease Control

American Red Cross

Dallas Office of Emergency Management

Irving Office of Emergency Management

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Northwest Airlines

American Airlines

Delta Airlines


Baylor Health Care System

Dallas County Medical Examiner

Bedford Fire Department 

Colleyville Fire Department

Flower Mound Fire Department

Roanoke Fire Department

Bedford Fire Department

Grapevine Fire Department

Haltom City Fire Department

Watuaga Fire Department

Dallas Fire Rescue

Lewisville Fire Department

Euless Fire Department

Fort Worth Fire Department

Plano Fire Department

Irving Police Department

Euless Police Department

Dallas Police Department

Fort Worth Police Department

Texas Maritime Reserve

Love Field Airport

Salt Lake City Airport Fire Department

Austin Bergstrom International Airport

San Diego International Airport

Tarrant County 911 Dispatch