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