Do you know what to do in the event of an active shooting?
Thursday, staff at Bismarck Municipal Airport became better equipped to handle such an emergency.
Every year, headlines about mass shootings in public places pile up — and so do people’s fears.
But at Bismarck Airport, the Bismarck Police Department, TSA and airport staff took steps to be prepared for the worst.
“Unfortunely we have seen alot of active shooter events ar airports. So we want to be able to train our staff to know what to do in the event that one happens here. So that’s why it’s important, we need to actually train that could happen,” said Matthew Remynse, Bismarck Airport Marketing Operations Manager.
Before running the drill, trainers from the BPD briefed airport staff and security on the three options in the event of an active shooter — run, hide or fight.
“If you hear gun shots, run. That’s the first thing always. Run to get away from the assailant. Run. If you can’t run, then we ask them to find a place to hide. Unfortunely if you’re faced with the assailant being in front of you, that is when you need to fight,” explained Remynse.
The training included a sergeant who played the role of an active shooter.
He came into the airport shooting, and staff reacted.
“He had a pistol that fired blanks. Once he came and fired off those blanks it kind of got people moving. And it was the indicator that hey we need to do something,” explained Lt. Luke Gardiner of BPD.
The drill was conducted in between flights Thursday morning.
Passengers had to be warned that while they waited, they might see some out-of-the-ordinary things.
“You just have to bring in some people that have ran drills before. Know what to look for and then debriefed after the drill’s over to see where people went. How they responded to the drill,” explained Gardiner.
Airport administration believes that running drills like this one will allow their staff to have a better understanding and provide a safe environment for the public.
The last active shooter in an airport was in 2017 at Fort Lauderdale International Airport in Florida.