Welcome to Hector International Airport - Fargo, ND
Airport Practices Disaster Preparedness
June 12, 2000

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Hector International Airport was the site for a simulated plane crash on Saturday afternoon. This exercise, which is required by the Federal Aviation Administration, must occur once every three years. Crews from the Grand Forks Air Force Base brought the aircraft, a KC-135R, to the Fargo Airport for the exercise.

Disaster Exercise PictureThe purpose of the exercise is to put into practice the airport emergency plan and test its effectiveness in the event of an aircraft accident at the airport. The exercise had approximately 65 volunteers that acted as accident victims or waiting family members. The plan tests all aspects of an accident from the initial fire department response of extinguishing fires and rescuing victims to the mental health of the family members that were awaiting the aircraft arrival. Crash victims in the simulation were transported by ambulance to area hospitals to exercise their mass casualty plans.

Disaster Exercise PictureIn total, approximately 60 emergency personnel took part in this exercise. Besides the North Dakota Air National Guard Fire Department, many other mutual aid agencies took part in the exercise including; Fargo Fire and Police Department, West Fargo Fire and Police Department, FM Ambulance, Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Casselton Ambulance, EVAC, Casselton Fire Dept., Cass Co. Sheriff�s Department and First Responders, Moorhead, Dilworth and Glyndon Fire Departments, Merit Care, VA and Dakota Heartland Hospitals, Amateur Radio, Fargo Public Works, Red River Amateur Radio, Armed Forces Reserve Center, FAA Air Traffic Control Tower and the Flight Standards District Office. The exercise began at 1:10 PM and concluded shortly after 3 PM.

In all, the exercise was a success. Each participating department was allowed to carry out their required response and test their department specific plan. A follow-up meeting was held to discuss how the exercise went and if there should be any changes or updates to the airport emergency plan. The next full-scale exercise will be held in the spring of 2003.


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