Training preps emergency personnel for potential airport disaster

Firefighters tend to “victims” of a simulated aircraft emergency Wednesday morning during training at Palm Springs International Airport.

If it looked like a disaster at Palm Springs International Airport Wednesday morning, know that it was on purpose.

First responders from the Palm Springs Fire Department, Palm Springs Police Department, Cathedral City Fire Department, Cal Fire, Mercy Air and American Medical Response, participated in an emergency aircraft training drill at the airport that morning from 10 AM until Noon. The airport is required to hold a full-scale exercise at least once every three years.

“These triennial drills provide the airport with a vital opportunity to assess our emergency response capabilities,” said Ulises Aguirre, executive director of aviation at the airport. “They result in a high level of emergency preparedness which is needed to coordinate all resources and ensure maximum safety for all airport users.”

During the simulation, seen on video here, volunteers playing the role of victims and life-size mannequins were treated at the scene after being pulled from a burning airplane fuselage (a shipping container). The mannequins were then placed in ambulances to be transported to local hospitals. Mercy Air 18 Flight Crew, based at Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal, flew in to simulate and evacuation of the most severely injured.

No commercial flights or other airport operations were impacted by the drill.

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TRAFFIC CALMING: Work is underway in the city to slow traffic on 10 different roadways and intersections. Crews are busy taking several measures aimed at slowing vehicles, including the installation of four-way stops, speed bumps, and cross walks. To see a list of current and future projects, turn here.

ART MUSEUM LEADERSHIP: Jane Emison has been elected the new chair of the Palm Springs Art Museum, its Board of Trustees announced. Emison fills the position vacated by the passing of Steve Maloney, who had served as chair since February 2018. Emison is a retired interior designer who had her own firm and practiced her profession for over 40 years. Since her retirement, Emison has dedicated her time to philanthropy and she serves on several boards. She joined Palm Springs Art Museum’s Board of Trustees in 2015 at the behest of her longtime friend Donna MacMillan. She under-wrote the museum’s Master Facilities Plan and has been a continuous President’s Circle supporter since her involvement began.

VACCINE EXPANSION: Riverside County health officials expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to those 12 and older, effective Thursday. The move expands eligibility for vaccine for approximately 140,000 more people in the county.  Residents 12 and older are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine and will need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to get vaccinated. Moderna and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine are available to those who are 18 years and older. For information about how and where to get vaccinated, turn here.



  • LIVE MUSIC: The Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, offers live jazz today at 10:30 AM. The music will be broadcast on its Facebook Live page and feature the center’s house band.


  • FLEA MARKET: A flea market and food fest is held both Saturday and Sunday at 675 Crossley Rd., from 8 AM-3 or 4 PM Saturday and 11 AM-4 PM Sunday. Information can be found here.
  • LIVE MUSIC: Jazz vocalist Rose Mallet will be performing this evening (Friday) at Oscar’s, 125 East Tahquitz Canyon Way. She takes the stage from 5-8 PM. Reservations are required and there is a $10 cover per table. Reservations can be made by calling 760-325-1188. The Palm Canyon Roadhouse, 535 South Palm Canyon Drive, has live music all weekend. For a list of entertainers and times, turn here. Also this weekend, Palm Springs American Legion Post 519, at 400 North Belardo Rd., has live music Saturday evening from 7-10 PM on its newly-expanded patio. On Sunday, Sean Wiggins and Paul Houston perform at Hunters, 302 East Arenas, from 1-3 PM. That performance is free
  • BRUNCH: Multiple venues offer drag brunch, champagne brunch, and more on weekends. View a complete list here.
  • OUTDOOR ART: Desert X art installations are on display throughout the Coachella Valley, including several within the Palm Springs city limits. The free event runs through May 16. A map of the installations can be found here. Some require reservations to view.


Want to know about city and other municipal events? Road construction in your neighborhood? Building activity? Have something to report? The following links should help:

City of Palm Springs calendar of events

Police reports | Submit a police report

Code compliance reports | Report a code violation

Current road projects and closures

Currently active development projects

Desert Water Agency calendar


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