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NEWS | May 9, 2007

Northern Edge Combined Training Exercise

By Courtesy Story

Fairbanks, Alaska - Today in Fairbanks exercise officials conducted the most involved scenario of the two week training effort to refine and evaluate coordination between local state and federal emergency response agencies.

A mass casualty incident was simulated near the North Pole Industrial Complex involving simulated terrorist activities which simulated a detonation resulting in over 150 causalities.

The simulation took place at a check point enacted in response to exercise events earlier this week which indicated a simulated heightened security risk near energy sector facilities in Alaska. The National Guard simulated a traffic check near the North Pole complex at which an actor portrayed a terrorist with explosive devices attempting to enter the complex. The National Guard was successful in detaining the actor and preventing any detonation at this checkpoint.

For the purposes of further response training, actors were utilized in simulating what would have happened if another attempt had been successfully made to attack the complex.

130 actors were transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital by ambulance, bus and helicopter by local emergency responders.

The exercise further simulated the need for additional resources upon maximizing hospital capacity. The Disaster Medical Assistance Team participated in this exercise today and was on site near the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital helipad to receive simulated burn and structural trauma victims. Additional simulations included in this exercise were an area wide power outage and a gunfire exchange.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough opened an Exercise Command Post at Borough Emergency Services Headquarters at 3175 Peger Road, and simulated opening an information center with a hotline for public information.

These scenarios were conducted as a continuance of the ongoing Alaska-Shield / Northern-Edge national level multi-jurisdictional preparedness exercise. This year's exercise represents the largest scale Northern-Edge exercise undertaken to date, and the larges scale exercise conducted in Alaska incorporating over 5,000 participants statewide.

While all agencies will benefit individually from any training experience, an exercise of this magnitude provides the unique opportunity to use and refine the necessary interagency coordination efforts of the participating partners.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough is proud to participate in this training opportunity along with our local state and federal response partners.