Division of Aeronautics, Department of Correction
When an event at one of Idaho’s correctional facilities exceeds the ability of responding locally, specially trained and equipped experts may be needed from outside the area. ITD has agreed to commit state aircraft to transport the equivalent of a SWAT team to a correctional facility during extreme circumstances, said Mike Pape, director of Flight Operations at the Division of Aeronautics.
“Much like the Idaho State Police SWAT team, the Department of Correction must be able to respond to emergencies at correctional facilities around the state. Each section of the state has a small team that is responsible for containing riots, hijackings, hostage situations, etc., at the correctional facilities in their own area,” Pape said.
“They are small teams that may require additional assistance from other IDOC teams if the situation warrants. It will be the job of Aeronautics Flight Operations to transport additional IDOC team members to correctional facilities in need of assistance during an emergency.”
The IDOC Emergency Response Team and ITD’s flight operations personnel participated in a joint training seminar today (July 25) at Aeronautics to learn about locations of airports near correctional facilities and other issues related to carrying special equipment.
Approximately 20 correction officers from the Treasure Valley area participated in the training. They are responsible for controlling critical incidents at facilities in Orofino, Cottonwood, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, St. Anthony and in Boise.
The state-owned King Air twin-engine turboprop airplane can carry up to seven emergency response team members and their specialized equipment, Pape said.
“In the end, both Aeronautics and IDOC will be better prepared to go into action in the event of a state emergency,” Pape said.
ITD and the Department of Correction signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines responsibilities and duties of the special responses.