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PTSD specialist: People should recover quickly from Wright-Patt shooter scare

The active shooter scare at Wright-Paterson Air Force Base was familiar to psychologist Kathy Platoni because she was at Fort Hood in 2009 when a man shot and killed 13 people.

Platoni — who specializes in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — works as a psychologist for Dayton SWAT and said “stark terror” is what people feel when it hits them that they may be in the middle of an active shooter situation.

» RELATED: Wright-Patt hospital: What we know about the base medical center

“Its terrifying. I don’t think anything compares to that because you really see your life flash before you,” Platoni said. “So I can imagine that the employees, staff and patients at Wright-Patt who did receive the tweet to get on lockdown and shelter in place or who heard gunshots and other chaos underway felt much the same way.”

Around 12:40 p.m. Thursday, someone from inside Wright-Patterson Medical Center called 911 and that call was routed through the base’s command center. The call caused all base gates to temporarily close and resulted in upwards of 100 local, state and federal law enforcement officers to respond.

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Shootings, even scares like what happened at Wright-Patt, have a “lasting impact” on people’s lives, Platoni said.

» GALLERY: Photos from scene of active shooter situation at Wright-Patt

People who went through Thursday’s scare are likely to have a variety of emotions, she said, ranging from anger to fear to frustration. Some may even feel the need to openly vent about the incident, Platoni said.

But, since there were no deaths or injuries, people should recover within around two weeks, she said. If they don’t they should seek a doctor’s help.

“I think people talking to one another and sharing their fears and concerns is probably the best medicine of all but these are all normal reactions,” she said.

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