MEDIA CONTACT:  Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J.—Emergency responders got a hands-on tour of Mercer County’s Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) recently as part of the annual federally required Airport Emergency Plan (AEP) Review. The purpose of the exercise and tour, conducted May 20, 2010, was to have the major front-line responders gain an increased knowledge of the airport facility and to discuss the AEP in order to ensure that the document continues to be maintained in a manner consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS)/Incident Command System (ICS). A “Table Top” review was also performed, where participants discussed a fictional emergency scenario and their agencies proposed responses to it.

“This exercise underlines the most important responsibility of government: the welfare and safety of our residents, our emergency responders, and our airport users and tenants,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “A program such as this helps ensure that an emergency response by multiple agencies will be seamless. Proper coordination and familiarity with the venue can cut response time, minimize damage, and most importantly, save lives. Tying the AEP to NIMS/ICS further guarantees our plan meets the industry ‘gold standard’ in terms of emergency response.”

A number of government agencies participated in this review, which took place in the TTN administrative offices.  In addition to Trenton-Mercer Airport and TTN Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF)-Station 34, a number of other County agencies were represented, including: the Mercer County Office of Emergency Management; Mercer County Central Maintenance; Mercer County Central Dispatch; Mercer County Administration; Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office; and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office. Several agencies of the Federal government also were represented, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey Division of Aeronautics, West Trenton Fire Company-Station 33, the Ewing Township Police Department, the Ewing Township Office of Emergency Management, and a representative of Mercer County’s emergency medical service (EMS) responders, also took part in the program.

The airport is part of the Mercer County Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, headed by Director Aaron T. Watson.

“This review is a great example of intergovernmental cooperation and planning, something that has been very important to the County Executive,” Watson said. “As any professional will tell you, adequate preparation will yield positive results. In the unlikely event that an emergency occurs, I’m certain we’ll be ready for any eventualities.”

Under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, an AEP review must be completed annually by TTN.