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Airport Emergency Exercise Practiced
June 06, 2003

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Hector International Airport hosted a mock emergency exercise on Tuesday evening.  This exercise is a requirement every three years to test the FAA-approved Airport Emergency Plan.

Disaster Exercise PictureThe exercise scenario was that an aircraft declared an emergency enroute to the airport.  The aircraft attempted to land, slid off the end of the runway and crossed 19th Avenue before braking into two separate pieces in a grassy field.  Two school buses were used to simulate an aircraft fuselage for the exercise.  One bus was full of volunteer crash victims and the other bus was set on fire to enhance the realism of a disaster.

The purpose of the exercise is to put into practice the airport emergency plan and test its effectiveness in the event of an aircraft accident on or off the airport. The exercise had approximately 60 volunteers that acted as crash victims. The plan tests all aspects of an accident from the initial fire department response of extinguishing fires and rescuing victims. Crash victims in the simulation were transported by either ambulance or helicopter to area hospitals.

Disaster Exercise PictureDisaster Exercise PictureIn total, approximately 200 emergency personnel took part in this exercise. The North Dakota Air National Guard Fire Department and many other mutual aid agencies including; Fargo Fire and Police Department, FM Ambulance, West Fargo Fire Department, Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Casselton Ambulance, EVAC, Casselton Fire Dept., Merit Care and Innovis Hospitals, Fargo Public Works, Red River Amateur Radio, and the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower. The exercise began at 6:30 PM and concluded shortly after 8 PM.

The next full-scale exercise will be held in the spring of 2006.


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