If you’re in eastern West Seattle/South Park (or downtown) and noticing an unusual amount of helicopter traffic – a few people have asked about it – it’s a drill, and it’s scheduled to continue a few more hours. The explanation from the Seattle Fire Department:
Multiple Puget Sound public safety agencies are teaming up to practice a rooftop firefighting/rescue drill off a high rise skyscraper. The drill involves lowering firefighters and firefighting/rescue equipment from helicopters onto the roof of the 50-story Safeco Plaza Building in downtown Seattle.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Helicopter will lower 6 members of the High Rise Firefighting/Rescue Team onto the roof of the Safeco Plaza Building. King County Sheriff’s Office will fly their Guardian One helicopter over the operation in order to videotape and downlink a live feed of the operation that will be received at the Incident Command post at the City’s Joint Training Facility.
The exercises will demonstrate the ability of the Seattle Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Regional Aviation partner organizations to work together. The participating partners will emphasize aviation safety in the air and on the ground.