You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Wright-Patt workers training for disaster

It looked like the real thing but it was all practice on the grounds of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Thursday.

The scenario: A tornado overturned a yellow school bus standing on its side in a museum parking lot. Dozens of people were stretched out on the ground, injured and waiting for help, while firefighters, police and emergency medical technicians scramble.

An injured woman ran frantically and screamed, “I want my baby, I want him now” as she charged and struggled to break free of two police officers’ grip.

A man sprawled out in the branches of a pine tree moaned in pain.

The volunteers’ acting and realistic-looking injuries were meant to test how first responders react.

Wright-Patterson was in the midst of a weeklong exercise to evaluate how well military and civilian employees handle scenarios as varied as an incident of air piracy to how to deal with mass casualties, according to base Deputy Fire Chief Tracy Young.

“You have to create a level of realism” to develop an instinctive reaction in first responders, Young said. “ … You can only learn so much from a text book.”

The scenario wasn’t far from reality. Last June, a sudden summer storm with high winds raked the grounds of the museum just before festivities began at Freedom’s Call Military Tattoo which draws a crowd of tens of thousands. The storm injured 16 attendees, six of whom were taken to area hospitals, and strong winds tilted a metal support column for a performance stage.

Young said responders learned lessons from that experience and practice frequently to prepare for emergencies.

Staci Scearce, 46, an Air Force Materiel Command civilian employee, played the role of an injured woman screaming for her child trapped under the bus.

“When you talk about my kids, or my grandkids, get out of my way,” she later joked.

She sported a fake bloody gash on her left arm. A 29-year employee and veteran of four base exercises had this time struggled with two police officers who tackled her. They briefly handcuffed her hands behind her back. “They asked me to give some of them a hard time,” she said. “That’s what I did.”

Air Force 2nd Lt. Robert Edwards, 23, a National Air and Space Intelligence geospatial analysis officer, wore the same camouflage uniform he had as a member of the cadet corps at Virginia Tech, the site where a gunman killed 33 people in April 2007. Edwards said what happened at his alma mater was a contributing factor to why he volunteered for the exercise.

“Naturally, readiness and emergency preparedness means a lot to me coming from Virginia Tech,” he said. “Getting ready for emergencies and practicing like you play means something to me.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Military

Vets group appointee disputed
Vets group appointee disputed

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck has asked for a Court of Appeals hearing to remove a recent appointee to the Montgomery County Veterans Service Commission, claiming the appointment process deprived the group from putting who it wanted on the five-member panel. The court document, filed late Friday afternoon by Heck’s office, contended the...
All-women skydiving team coming to Dayton Air Show
All-women skydiving team coming to Dayton Air Show

An all-women skydiving team will descend on the Vectren Dayton Air Show this summer and the Navy’s Blue Angels will return in 2018, organizers said. The Misty Blues All-Woman Skydiving Team will join long-time acrobatic champion performer Sean D. Tucker and a World War II-era F4U Corsair fighter plane as part of the line-up June 24-25 show headlined...
Wright-Patt directorate expects ‘spike’ in sales after big drop in 2016
Wright-Patt directorate expects ‘spike’ in sales after big drop in 2016

The Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate handled $8.1 billion in foreign military sales in fiscal year 2016, a drop of more than half from the prior year. AFSAC Director Brig. Gen. Gregory M. Gutterman expects the Wright-Patterson headquartered agency with more than 600 employees who handle deals with 108 countries to see a &rdquo...
Air Force Marathon registration down from last year
Air Force Marathon registration down from last year

More than 4,600 runners registered Monday to claim a spot in the 2017 Air Force Marathon, about 1,000 less than last year, according to an event organizer. But Marathon Director Rob Aguiar said he’s not worried about the slower start out of the running block. “Runners are making more choices,” Aguiar said. “I’m not overly...
QR codes help preserve detailed memories of veterans, fallen soldiers
QR codes help preserve detailed memories of veterans, fallen soldiers

“Quick response” codes have been around since the 90s, but New Carlisle resident Randy Ark and Dodds Monuments of Springfield are pushing to see the codes on more headstones and civic memorials. Ark, a Vietnam veteran, has undertaken the development of Veterans Park in downtown Springfield as his personal mission to preserve detailed memories...
More Stories