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Abstract

Following the crash of Asiana flight 214 on July 6, 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) provided a recommendation to the Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting Working Group (ARFFWG) to develop best practices to avoid strike/rollover of seriously injured or deceased persons in mass casualty situations. This paper summarizes the research process and the technical committee’s conclusions.

The qualitative inquiry used participatory research and evaluation from medico-legal professionals and the expert committee comprised of 21 aircraft rescue and firefighting experts. Key informants were complemented by documentary analysis, including FAA Advisory Circulars, regulations, standards, medical and aircraft rescue industry publications.

The research provides specific committee recommendations for establishing control zones in the mass casualty environment, using START for triage, surveillance, transportation, training and certification of both ARFF personnel and incident command, and airport emergency planning strategies. A best practice for ARFF personnel, which is a tactical procedure for task prioritization at aircraft crash incidents, is also proposed. The authors suggest future pilot testing for evaluation of these best practices following NTSB’s consent with the committee’s recommendations.

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