It’ll be an unusual sight at Alki Playfield (above) and Walt Hundley Playfield during four afternoons next week when a helicopter lands for an emergency drill. The Seattle Fire Department has notified people near both fields about the plan, and one resident let us know about it – we’ve subsequently obtained from SFD the letter they are circulating:
The Seattle Fire Department is partnering with Airlift NW and Seattle Parks to provide airlift transport of patients during the West Seattle Bridge closure under extreme circumstances. This is occurring in response to the anticipated traffic impacts during peak travel times, which could delay SFD’s ability to provide transport via the typical method of a medic unit for critical patients. The frequency of helicopter transports is expected to be very low (only a few times per year, if any) but is an added capability of the fire department to serve West Seattle residents. Additionally, as previously announced, the department is dedicating an extra medic unit (Medic 26) and ladder truck (Ladder 13) during the bridge closure.
To prepare for this added helicopter capability, the department is holding a drill at the Alki and Walt Hundley Playfields in early June. From 2-3 p.m. at the below dates and locations, neighbors in the area will hear and see a helicopter land at the playfield, and firefighters simulate a patient transport hand-off.
• June 8: Alki Playfield – 5817 SW Lander St.
• June 9: Walt Hundley Playfield – 6920 34th Ave. SW
• June 10: Alki Playfield – 5817 SW Lander St.
• June 11: Walt Hundley Playfield – 6920 34th Ave. SW
The site will be secured by Seattle Fire and Police personnel. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, the fire department encourages residents to not gather at the site, but instead watch the activities from the livestream on Facebook on the first day of the drill June 8, or from your doorstep.
As we reported earlier this week, the added SFD units mentioned above are now on duty. Meantime, SFD tells us they’ll have more to say about the helicopter drill plan tomorrow.