Bombing simulation brings area emergency responders to UAF for training

On Wednesday, July 27, emergency responders from around Fairbanks rushed to the scene of a simulated bombing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The training exercise was part of a series of emergency preparedness drills being conducted by UAF. Simulations included bomb threats at the Butrovich building. The Wednesday exercise was practice in the event a bomb or similar event actually occurs.

Responders from the University Police and Fire Department, Fairbanks Fire Department, Eilson Air Force Base, Fairbanks International Airport, the North Pole Fire Department, and the campus community emergency responders were among the participants in the exercise. 

“You see the whole spectrum of Fairbanks here,” said Michael O’Hare, Deputy Director of the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “You’ve got the entire community.” O’ Hare was in Fairbanks observing training events taking place throughout the week.

A pile of rubble, cars and brush was assembled in the Taku parking lot. Volunteers played the role of victims, covered in fake wounds and blood, placed throughout the wreckage. The group Volunteers in Policing put together the team of 36 victims. VIP has a number of teams for training support. This particular group provides victims or bad guys as needed for training scenarios said Lorna Illingsworth, Executive Director of VIP.

The simulation included moulage, realistic looking injuries for emergency responders to practice on. Kelly Shufeldt, a volunteer from Eilson Air Force Base, was on hand to touch up the “wounds” before the simulation began. “We all met this morning and did a mass assembly of wounds,” said Shufeldt.

Leading up to the training events this week, were emails from the Chancellor’s office reminding people that the simulations were only exercises. “Exercises like this one are vital to help ensure our campus and first responders are well prepared to deal with emergencies at UAF and the surrounding community,” stated the email. “They also offer departments and individuals an opportunity to practice how they would respond in a real emergency.”

“Its important to have emergency management embedded in the University,” said Roberta Carney, Deputy Director of the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “There are so many people here.”

Following the exercises will be a survey for the campus community to give feedback on the drills.

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