Mass Ice Rescue Drill Today in Lakewood
Emergency personnel from more than a dozen local, state and federal agencies will take part in the first major Mass Ice Rescue drill on Chautauqua Lake in several years this morning. The county's Department of Emergency Services is coordinating the four-hour long exercise, which begins at 8:45 AM in the area off Lakewood Community Park. Emergency Services Director, Julius Leone, is urging residents and others to avoid that area through early afternoon because the drill will be staged from the park's parking lot area.
Leone says the Lakewood Fire Department will be the first responder for the exercise and, they'll be joined by the Sheriff's Department, Lakewood-Busti Police and, WCA Hospital. He says a number of rescue vehicles will be responding to the area and, there'll be a lot of scanner "chatter."
Leone says the "exercise simulation" will involve a jet crashing into the lake after encountering severe icing upon takeoff from the County Airport near Jamestown. The jet in the drill crash-lands on the lake and breaks into several parts. Leone says it's partially submerged in approximately 15 feet of water with 43 passengers aboard. The Coast Guard will have a helicopter and, Starflight will also be involved in transporting the "victims" in the drill.