Laura Ruane NEWS-PRESS
How Page Field Airport Trains for Plane Trouble On or Off-Site
March 10, 2015
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  • Page Field personnel train to respond to aircraft emergencies that occur on and off the grounds of the general aviation airport.

    When a single-engine Piper Comanche crash-landed less than a mile from one of the Fort Myers airport’s runways on Monday, Page-based firefighters and Lee County Port Authority police officers were among the first responders.

    “We secure the scene until the (Federal Aviation Administration) arrives,” said Victoria Moreland, port authority spokeswoman.

    Page’s fire station has a truck equipped for fighting aircraft or structural fires. It is staffed by two firefighters around the clock, seven days a week.

    Had the plane caught fire, the Page firetruck had foam available to use. As a precautionary measure, airport firefighters disconnected the crashed plane’s battery.

    About once yearly, Page officials and emergency personnel hold “tabletop drills” on emergency response scenarios, Moreland said.

    Aircraft crashes are rare occurrences at or around Page, which handled 94,350 takeoffs and landings in 2014.

    And, the potential for a plane crash isn’t top-of-mind for at least one neighboring business.

    Baer’s Fort Myers showroom is at the southwest corner of Colonial Boulevard and U.S. 41 and less than a mile from the runway for which the Piper was headed.

    When building the store that opened in 2001, company CFO Ira Baer said what mattered “was having a great corner location.”