One day after a Wright-Patterson Air Force Base training drill that included an active shooter scenario spread panic across the region and put the base on lockdown, Clark County officials experienced no problems with an emergency training exercise on Friday.
“Clark County EMA and the local emergency planning committee are required by law to perform these exercises once a year,” Michael Cooper, Clark County Public Information Officer, said.
Friday’s drill included Clark County Emergency Management Agency, Springfield Fire and Rescue Division’s HAZMAT unit, volunteers from Red Cross and other emergency agencies across the state responding to a scripted exercise at Springfield Regional Medical Center.
The script called for crews to respond to a two-vehicle accident involving a car full of teenagers and a truck carrying hazardous materials.
Emergency agencies are required to conduct full-scale training exercises like the one on Friday every four years. That is why the HAZMAT unit was involved.
“It’s important because it gives our emergency responders real life training with the equipment. It also helps us to prepare in case of we have this type of emergency and improve our planning process at the same time,” Cooper said.
Clark County decided to still conduct its training exercise despite the incident that took place at Wright-Patt.
A planned, scheduled installation exercise involving an active shooter scenario was taking place when someone inside Wright-Patterson Medical Center called 911 around 12:40 p.m. Thursday. It’s unclear what the 911 caller reported but the call went to the base’s operation center and prompted Wright-Patt’s security forces and fire department to respond and to put the base on lockdown for about three hours.
Law enforcement responded from sheriff’s offices in Greene and Montgomery counties and police departments in Dayton, Fairborn and Huber Heights, among other agencies.
“We don’t have any reason to believe the 911 caller was influenced by any exercise activity,” said Daryl Mayer, base spokesperson.
The scheduled exercise was published to all base personnel before Thursday.
Cooper said the county alerted the public before the exercise took place.
“We sent out a press release letting media outlets know this is going on as well as posted to social media to make sure the public was aware of this event also,” Cooper said.
Clark County officials also placed an Ohio Department of Transportation notice near the hospital’s sign at West North Street and North Yellow Springs Street. It warned drivers to use caution and there was an exercise nearby.