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Published June 22, 2022

Fake Bomb Disaster at Minot Airport

Written by
Lydia Hoverson
| The Dakotan
First responders pretend to help a volunteer, after a fake bomb, for their mandatory training at the Minot International Airport. [Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan]
First responders pretend to help a volunteer, after a fake bomb, for their mandatory training at the Minot International Airport. [Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan]

MINOT — Fake bomb, fake smoke, fake victims.

The Minot International Airport put on a simulation of a bomb threat for the purpose of training first responders Wednesday.

This full-scale emergency exercise is required every few years by the FAA.

Volunteers of all ages pretended to be victims of a disaster, after signing waivers, listening to a brief safety presentation, and donning their volunteer shirts to distinguish themselves from the general public.

Volunteers hear safety briefing before participating in a bomb simulation at the SRE building near the Minot Airport. [Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan]

The exercise was divided into two modules. The first began with volunteers pretending to grab their airline tickets, going about airport business as usual.

An actor then yelled that there was a bomb in the building.

As volunteers scrambled out of the airport, police and airport staff practiced giving directions, leading the people out of the building as they searched for the bomb.

Airport staff direct volunteers out of the Minot Airport to train for bomb threat. [Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan]

“Exercise, exercise, exercise,” were the three words repeated before any responder said his or her script.

“Exercise, exercise, exercise, the bomb has now exploded, I repeat, the bomb has now exploded. This is only an exercise,” said a dispatcher.

Police pretend to arrest fake suspect for bomb threat. [Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan]

The second module was the on-scene bomb disaster simulation. Using a bus as an airplane, firefighters had to throw out inflatable dummies from the “airplane,” deciphering which ones were “dead” and which ones were “injured”. Fake smoke filled the air around them.

First responders are trained to distinguish between dead inflatable humans and injured ones. [Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan]

The participants, who were each given their own scenarios, laid on the hot cement, and pretended to be either dead or injured. Some displayed acting skills by crying loudly for help.

Minot Airport staff give water to volunteers as they wait on the hot cement for the bomb simulation to continue. [Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan]

The day wrapped up with a “hot wash”, where the participants were encouraged to give feedback on the experience and the first responders’ training.

lydia.hoverson@mydakotan.com
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