Thunder Over Niagara CFR Feedback


The Thunder Over Niagara Air Show concluded on July 19, 2015 and the Chief of Fire Emergency Services, Richard “Red” Kennerson sent feedback on the success of his unit’s execution.  He provided several best practices that should be followed by all to maximize the chances of a successful weekend.  You can find his comments below:

Our best practices:

  1. We assigned an FES liaison with the air boss — resulted in seamless operations and should be mandatory for air shows.  The performers were thrilled with this, plus it provided direct visual/radio direction ARFF crews and definitely reduced communication lags. 

— Recommendation that the FES liaison should be a chief officer with ARFF experience and should be well-versed in the incident action plan (IAP), crew locations, etc.  Additionally, liaison needs to be experienced with their emergency operations center (EOC) operations and know who to call to solve ALL problems on the ground…not just fire stuff. 

— If an AF FES Flight does not have sufficient staffing or experience to provide an FES liaison, the base should pay TDY costs to bring one in. 

– The EOC Director, air boss, and the chief officer’s should get together to table-top before the start of the practice day so all are on the same page.  Also the air boss needs to realize that his FES liaison can get things done almost immediately by using the EOC.  Further, the EOC Director has to know that when the FES liaison contacts the EOC…EOC response is priority #1. 

  1. We developed a detailed IAP for the Airshow.  The ARFF Response Guide was one of the main references to ensure we planned for all aspect of emergency response for the airshow.  We also developed an emergency response plan.  We also coordinated all operations plans/processes with our mutual aid partners, Security and local law enforcement; this ensured our success during the event. 
  1. Lastly, we developed a PowerPoint presentation to cover the key items from Chapter 5, Attachment 3.  The performers commented very positively to this and were thrilled with the level of detail of our plans. 
  1. My team also developed aircraft pre-fire plans books for all aircraft civilian and military that attended.  We also included detailed pictures of civilian aircraft egress points, shutdown and seats.  This included all the static and performers aircraft.  We are working to position these e-document and pictures on our SharePoint.  Of course we will be willing to share this information with all departments.
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The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) is a trade association dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant air show industry to support its membership. To achieve this goal, ICAS demands its members operate their air show business at only the highest levels of safety, professionalism, and integrity.