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  1. #1
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Default Heroic cops in Lexington deserve recognition. Comair 5191 crash report.

    I tried to post this last week but of course, the webteam was asleep at the wheel again. It appears to be working now so here goes.

    I just got done reading a 27 page NTSB report on the Comair 5191 crash in Lexington, KY last year. The report was on the survivability factors and the preliminary results so far. A large part of this report was detailed accounts of the events from people who were there including the airport police, firefighters and dispatcher, as well as the Lexington Metro police. I will summarize it here since the entire thing is way too much to expect any normal person to read.

    First, to set the stage for this. The jet ran off the end of the runway, through the perimeter fence striking various landscape features and finally, a line of trees. The crash was very bad without the jet fuel; i would estimate the speed to be about 150mph. Of the 50 souls on board, 27 were traumatic fatalities. 22 were killed as a result of the post-crash fire (either burns or smoke inhalation). The details about what was left of the passenger cabin and cockpit even without the fire was just devastating. The sole survivor was the first officer seated in the right seat of the cockpit. The following is probably why he is still alive.

    The control tower notified the airport police and ARFF personnel of the crash. The two airport police officers responded in their SUV's. The ARFF trucks were a few minutes behind them. At the same time, Lexington 911 was receiving the 911 calls from residents in the area of the crash. LX 911 called the tower to inquire and the tower told them it was for real and to send everyone they've got. FYI, KLEX uses cross-trained police/ff for their public safety department. So they are all EMS, Firefighters, and Police Officers and rotate duties.

    The first units to arrive at the crash were the two airport police officers and a Lexington metro police officer. The grass in this field was higher than the vehicles so they were simply driving blind towards the glow.

    The police officers found the only opening in the aircraft not totally engulfed in flames was at the cockpit which was also upside down. The three of them climbed up despite the fire, explosions, jet fuel, oxygen tanks blowing up, and everything else to try to rescue the only person they could get at. The first officer was hanging doubled over upside down and badly hurt. They managed to eventually undo his harness and get him out while things were exploding next to them. One of the officers drove the Tahoe over to the nose and they put the first officer inside to begin medical treatment and to get him away from the burning plane.

    Recognizing the dire condition of the first officer, they decided there was no time to wait for an ambulance to get out to this field and transport to the hospital in the normal manner. They were on their own with this guy. One of the the KLEX officers drove while the metro officer was in the back with the trauma kit controlling the massive bleeding as best he could. They hauled *** out of the field just as ARFF was arriving and beginning to apply foam. The remaining KLEX officer remained on scene to help with the fire suppression.

    The officer driving radioed his dispatcher to notify University Hospital they were on their way and it was bad. The whole way in, the first officer was going downhill very quickly. Agonal respirations, gurgling, etc. They arrived at the hospital sometime before 0630 but I don't know the exact time. Nonetheless, they arrived in time for the ER to be able to stabilize him and he subsequently survived.

    Based on the described medical condition of the first officer, it is unlikely he would have survived if these guys didn't make that rescue and then get him to the hospital. I don't know many people that would just climb into a burning plane. These guys deserve some serious recognition.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.


  2. #2
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    When I was on a volunteer department just outside Paducah Ky,I noticed most of the county deputies were either on a vollie department,the local DES department or had gotten EMT tranining on their own.
    For whatever reason,it's a good idea to have police crosstrained as EMTs or First Responders.
    Some might think about the acronym ABC,meaning Ambulance before Cruiser,but I wasn't there so I'm not second guessing their decision to transport.They got the guy there alive which is a big plus.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Based on the described medical condition of the first officer, it is unlikely he would have survived if these guys didn't make that rescue and then get him to the hospital. I don't know many people that would just climb into a burning plane. These guys deserve some serious recognition.
    I might not have heard about these guys had it not been for your post and they certainly deserve much better.
    ullrichk
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    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    A "tip of the Leather" goes out to the KLEX officers for going above and beyond the call of duty in th Comair incident.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  5. #5
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post, nm............. Excellent job for the boys from KLEX!!!
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

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    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    A "tip of the Leather" goes out to the KLEX officers for going above and beyond the call of duty in th Comair incident.
    Hell yeah! Great job guys!
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
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    All three received the highest of honors at the Lex. Police awards ceremony in November.
    http://www.bluegrassairport.com/Blue...SEEFFORTS.html

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    I read the story in the Lex. Herald leader when the report came out. I had known that the KLEX and Metro officers saved the first officer's life, but had not realized the great lengths they went to.

    Congrats to them!

    On an interesting side note, I read that the Tahoe was in such a hurry to get to the ER that they didnt bother to drive around in the parking lot but, rather, drove up and over landscaping that stood in the way. May have been the seconds that saved his life.
    The opinions I post to these forums do not represent any entity to which I am affiliated.

  9. #9
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Umm, yea. I decided to leave that out of my summary just because it was so wacko. There were some parts of that report that make you say "only in Kentucky..." For some reason, I picture that moment in time with a dixie horn blaring and a banjo playing in the background.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccfdblehman View Post
    I read the story in the Lex. Herald leader when the report came out. I had known that the KLEX and Metro officers saved the first officer's life, but had not realized the great lengths they went to.

    Congrats to them!

    On an interesting side note, I read that the Tahoe was in such a hurry to get to the ER that they didnt bother to drive around in the parking lot but, rather, drove up and over landscaping that stood in the way. May have been the seconds that saved his life.


    They change the entrance to the Univ. of KY Med Center ED about every 6 months. I'd venture that the driver decided to get there, and worry about the driveway later.
    Judging by the speed that they were traveling as they came down the hill from the site, it's a testament to the driver's ability, and the grace of God that those in the back seat with the first officer didn't suffer injuries too. BTW, the LPD officer suffered burns to his upper arm as he helped extricate the first officer.
    Last edited by LFD2203; 01-31-2007 at 01:28 PM.

  11. #11
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    I tried to post this last week but of course, the webteam was asleep at the wheel again. It appears to be working now so here goes.

    I just got done reading a 27 page NTSB report on the Comair 5191 crash in Lexington, KY last year. The report was on the survivability factors and the preliminary results so far. A large part of this report was detailed accounts of the events from people who were there including the airport police, firefighters and dispatcher, as well as the Lexington Metro police. I will summarize it here since the entire thing is way too much to expect any normal person to read.

    First, to set the stage for this. The jet ran off the end of the runway, through the perimeter fence striking various landscape features and finally, a line of trees. The crash was very bad without the jet fuel; i would estimate the speed to be about 150mph. Of the 50 souls on board, 27 were traumatic fatalities. 22 were killed as a result of the post-crash fire (either burns or smoke inhalation). The details about what was left of the passenger cabin and cockpit even without the fire was just devastating. The sole survivor was the first officer seated in the right seat of the cockpit. The following is probably why he is still alive.

    The control tower notified the airport police and ARFF personnel of the crash. The two airport police officers responded in their SUV's. The ARFF trucks were a few minutes behind them. At the same time, Lexington 911 was receiving the 911 calls from residents in the area of the crash. LX 911 called the tower to inquire and the tower told them it was for real and to send everyone they've got. FYI, KLEX uses cross-trained police/ff for their public safety department. So they are all EMS, Firefighters, and Police Officers and rotate duties.

    The first units to arrive at the crash were the two airport police officers and a Lexington metro police officer. The grass in this field was higher than the vehicles so they were simply driving blind towards the glow.

    The police officers found the only opening in the aircraft not totally engulfed in flames was at the cockpit which was also upside down. The three of them climbed up despite the fire, explosions, jet fuel, oxygen tanks blowing up, and everything else to try to rescue the only person they could get at. The first officer was hanging doubled over upside down and badly hurt. They managed to eventually undo his harness and get him out while things were exploding next to them. One of the officers drove the Tahoe over to the nose and they put the first officer inside to begin medical treatment and to get him away from the burning plane.

    Recognizing the dire condition of the first officer, they decided there was no time to wait for an ambulance to get out to this field and transport to the hospital in the normal manner. They were on their own with this guy. One of the the KLEX officers drove while the metro officer was in the back with the trauma kit controlling the massive bleeding as best he could. They hauled *** out of the field just as ARFF was arriving and beginning to apply foam. The remaining KLEX officer remained on scene to help with the fire suppression.

    The officer driving radioed his dispatcher to notify University Hospital they were on their way and it was bad. The whole way in, the first officer was going downhill very quickly. Agonal respirations, gurgling, etc. They arrived at the hospital sometime before 0630 but I don't know the exact time. Nonetheless, they arrived in time for the ER to be able to stabilize him and he subsequently survived.

    Based on the described medical condition of the first officer, it is unlikely he would have survived if these guys didn't make that rescue and then get him to the hospital. I don't know many people that would just climb into a burning plane. These guys deserve some serious recognition.

    The officers were recognized locally and by the Division of Police. The Lexington officers involved in the immediate rescue receive the Medal of Valor, the department's highest honor for living officers (the Medal of Honor is awarded for LODD). The Bluegrass Airport Safety Officers received the Chief's Medal, the highest award to a non-Division member. It was the first time a Chief's Medal had ever been awarded. A volunteer firefighter, who was on a ride-along with a Lexington officer, also received a Chief's Medal. He was with the 2nd or 3rd Lexington officer to arrive and assisted with ARFF fire suppression, even though he was dressed in civilian clothes.

    The events of Flight 5191 not only showed how men can rise to meet unimaginable challenges, it also showed how mankind can unite to support one another to achieve a common goal. For example, within hours of the crash, Home Depot had tents, tools and safety equipment at the site. Outback Steakhouse, and others, sent lunches and dinners. ARC was there too, as well as too many others to name.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

  12. #12
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    Thumbs up

    FiremanJB neglected to mention that he received an award or two at the 2006 awards ceremony......congrats.

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    As part of our required FAR ARFF training, we go to Bluegrass every 3 years. I also did my 40 hr basic ARFF at their training facility. I personally know the Chief and a couple of the guys up there. If I had to be involved in a major crash at a smaller airport, I would want it to be Lexington. They have a great facility and their guys train ALL THE TIME.

    Hats off to you Scott and your guys. We'll see you again in a year or so!

    SNH
    Nashville Int'l Airport DPS

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