Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport conducts live emergency burn training

ROANOKE, Va. – If you see flames and smoke coming from the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport this week, don’t panic — it’s due to live burn training.

On Wednesday, public safety crews practiced their skills for a real-life emergency on the runway with a mock-up airplane and a mat filled with propane.

They do this twice a year, but they’re also sworn police officers and EMS certified, so they can handle a wide variety of calls.

“Any given day we respond to fall on escalator, respond to a suspicious person or running a fire call for an airplane in distress,” Public Safety Chief Ben Cook said. “We keep our training up to date — this is one thing we do to maintain that.”

The training will continue through Thursday and will not affect arriving or departing flights at the airport.

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Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.