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DAFB preps for Open House

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – First responders tested their capabilities during a Major Accident Response Exercise in preparation for the upcoming Thunder Over Dover Open House July 22, 2017, on Dover AFB.

Countless Dover AFB units and off-base community partners worked hand-in-hand throughout the exercise ensuring the safety of attendees of the upcoming Open House.

“What we are doing is exercising our emergency response plans and our command and control communications,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Orfe, Open House director. “We are making sure that if this were to happen in the real world, we can respond to it efficiently and safely.”

The exercise simulated an aircraft accident resulting in more than 100 casualties. First responders reacted to the incident rapidly, quickly implementing search and rescue techniques to save as many lives as possible. Medical services were provided onsite.

“The point of the exercise was to help the Open House team prepare their plans in case of a mass-casualty scenario,” said Capt. Nick Mortimer, 436th Airlift Wing Inspector General deputy chief of exercises. “The IG team has been working on this for months getting the players involved. We coordinated with local and state agencies to see when they were able to participate.”

The off-base agencies that participated in the exercise included: Bayhealth Emergency Department at Kent General Hospital, Bayhealth Emergency Department at Milford Memorial, Bayhealth Emergency Center at Smyrna, Bayhealth Emergency Management and Public Safety, Kent County Public Safety, Kent County Mobile Emergency Operations Center, and the fire departments and emergency medical services from Dover, Little Creek, Camden-Wyoming, Leipsic, Frederica, Magnolia and Marydel.

“We partner up with the base a lot,” said Cindy Grygo, Kent County Department of Public Safety assistant director. “This is a full-scale exercise. We practiced taking care of patients and transporting them to the appropriate facilities.”

During the Thunder Over Dover Open House, these off-base first responders, plus more, will be on base ready to react if needed.

Free for the public, the Thunder Over Dover Open House is scheduled to take place Aug. 26 and 27, 2017, on Dover AFB. For more information, please visit the website