First responders train for airport disaster during simulation

The training exercise is conducted every three years to meet FAA requirement.

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — First responders test their skills with hands-on airport disaster rescue simulation training.

“We’re having an exercise that’s simulating an airplane crash at the airport. We’ve got a total of 60 victims on the airplane,” Hector International Airport Fire Chief David Bush said.

To help those actors playing victims, a total of 15 first responder agencies throughout the FM metro have come together to participate in the exercise.

“We have multiple fire departments, we’ve got multiple P.D. resources, EMS resources and they’re going to work through the emergency and mitigate it the best they can,” said Bush.

The training exercise is conducted every three years to meet FAA requirements to help first responders respond to critical conditions such as the airline incident.

“It is important to the agencies to work together especially when you start working with a mass casualty incident like this would be when you have a commercial aircraft. For the agencies to get together, communicate together, interact and be able to set up a command structure that works for everybody and to be able to mitigate the emergency or at least be able to build the foundation to start mitigation of the emergency is very important,” Bush said.

The key to the exercise is working under pressure and setting the right priorities, says Bush.

“We want to see that they get the rapid transport, we want to see that they triage the victims correctly and that we’re taking the priority victims first and the people that can wait are next. The biggest part is the triage piece to this, when you’re dealing with a mass casualty you just don’t have time to work on every patient you’ve got to take the priorities first,” said Bush.

Even though this was a drill, Bush says it prepares first responders for the real thing.

“Flying is still one of the safest ways to travel. The reason we train for this is just in the event that an event like this does happen that we are able to really do the community a service and be ready to mitigate the emergency,” Bush added.

At the end of the exercise, first responders were evaluated on how well they responded to the simulation training.

Categories: North Dakota News