Thirteen cadets from the Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol got a hands-on lesson on what Air Force medical personnel go through when responding to medical situations. It was part of a special training mission for the young cadets who are based out of Youngstown.
The mission began when the 13 cadets boarded a C-130 at Youngstown and flew to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. Prior to the mission, the cadets went through a briefing with from the 910th Airlift Wing Operations Group Commander Col. Craig Peters and the 757th Airlift Squadron's C-130 pilot Lt. Col. Cathy Miller.
Taking the flight and training were cadets Jesse and Shawn Bailey of Mercer, Pa.; Megan and Sean Beatty of Austintown; Spencer Campbell of Warren; David Childers of Austintown; Jacob Ezzo of Lowellville; Brian Haight of Salem; Aubry Lindauer of McDonald; Trent Lindsay of New Waterford; Austen Peters of Poland; Dustin Simmons of Parkman; and Seth Staudacher of McDonald. Civil Air Patrol Capt. Paul Creed III of Cortland, served as the officer-in-charge of the cadets.
Photos special to the Town Crier
Cadet Spencer Campbell of Warren plays a hypothermia victim strapped in the litter as medical personnel carry him onto the waiting C-130. The scenario was part of a training exercise for members of the Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol this month.
The cadets are part of the youth side of the Civil Air Patrol that began in 1962 as a non-profit organization that assists in search and rescue as well as other missions like homeland security and disaster relief. The youth side of the Civil Air Patrol involves teens age 12 through 19.
"As the official auxiliary of the Air Force, the Civil Air Patrol performs nearly all of the search-and-rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center," said Creed. "Cadets with the necessary training could be called upon in various roles to support the search effort. Further, cadets with the necessary training, could be called upon to provide assistance in a natural disaster. In all cases, the cadets are always supervised by their adult leaders."
The recent flight was just one of the many opportunities for cadets The young people got to fly in the C-130 and were able to roam around the aircraft and learn more about it while en route to Dayton.
Upon landing at Wright-Patterson, 45 minutes after take off from Youngstown, the cadets began working with the Air Force medical personnel. Those men and women were going to be evaluated on treating a variety of mock medical situations in which the cadets played an important role.
The cadets also got first-hand experience in the very tasks they could be called to do someday. The first opportunity came as a chance to take part in a litter-carrying exercise. Cadet Staff Sgt. Trent Lindsay of New Waterford and Cadet Second Lt. Megan Beatty of Austintown, carried a litter onto the plane where the waiting Air Force medical personnel were evaluated on their ability to communicate with and assist non-medical personnel (the cadets) in the loading of the equipment.
"The medical jobs that the cadets observed during the flight are one of the many jobs that the cadets could choose if they were to join the Air Force after high school," Creed said.
The cadets also got to experience what Air Force medical personnel go through in the aircraft. After the cadets experiencing loading the litters onto the aircraft, the doors were closed and it took off on a 90-minute flight over the state. While in flight, the cadets got to observe and participate in mock medical treatment.
Afterwards, the aircraft landed back in Youngstown and the cadets had valuable experience they can use in the future. Cadets may even consider a military medical career. Creed said the cadets do have great opportunities after graduation.
"Cadets do not necessarily continue on to the Air Force, but they do often go onto careers in one of the branches," he said. "On average, 10 percent of the incoming class at the Air Force Academy are from the Civil Air Patrol."
He said the Youngstown Civil Air Patrol currently has a former cadet at the Air Force Academy and also one who just graduated from West Point. Several others from the Youngstown squad have received Congressional nominations to other service academies and some have gone into law enforcement.
"Even if the cadet does not go into the military, they learn valuable life skills such as leadership and discipline that help them no matter what career path they may take," Creed said.