Salutes & Awards

June 14, 2012

Fort Huachuca firefighters receive heroism award

Tags:
Story and photo by Robert Anderson
Staff Writer

Firefighter Chris Mercer shows the features and use of the Kawasaki Mule 4010 all-terrain wildland response vehicle commonly referred to as “the Mule,” and is one of the newest pieces of equipment the fire department owns for rescues in hard-to-reach areas on the post.

Four firefighters from the Fort Huachuca Fire Department were awarded the Firefighter Heroism Award, Team Award, by the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, on May 21. The members of Fire Engine 2 quickly responded to and orchestrated the rescue and evacuation of an injured military police officer in the Huachuca Mountains, in approximately 20 minutes of the initial report.

The event that led to the award nomination took place on the morning of Sept. 24, 2011. Unbeknownst to the Fort Huachuca community, Fort Huachuca Fire Department’s Engine 2 Fire Capt. Dave Rhodes and firefighters Adam Burgess, Anthony Crone and Chris Mercer were rescuing a military police officer involved in a vehicle rollover five miles southeast of the main post in the Huachuca Mountains at an elevation of over 10,500 feet in treacherous terrain, typical of a high Alpine-type environment.

According to the official award package, “The reporting party was requesting the rescue response be set up at the site of the injured Soldier. Engine 2 responded, and during the response to the scene it was requested by Rhodes to put a helicopter on standby. The command post and medical treatment point were established at the mouth of Blacktail Canyon and West Gate Road.

“Upon arrival, the scene size-up revealed the officer had indeed rolled his all-terrain vehicle on a two-track road, driving downhill, striking a rock on the hillside, and therefore losing control and rolling his vehicle. Burgess then came into contact with the Soldier and began his initial patient assessment.”

“We set up a command area with an ambulance standing by, and I suggested we launch the helicopter. My main part was directing the people responding to the area and giving assignments, and we wanted to get our recon vehicle, ‘the Mule,’ out there as quickly as possible. So the firefighters responded to the scene while I stayed back at the command post to continue to direct the response,” Rhodes, a 20-year, fire-department veteran, said.

“Firefighter Mercer and Firefighter Anthony Crone responded using ‘the Mule’ with an IV fluid bag prepared, cardiac monitor set up and blood sugar analysis at the ready. When the firefighters arrived moments later, the military police officer was responsive to commands and appeared to be shaken from the accident. A more definitive medical treatment approach was taken. He was placed on a long spine board, cardiac monitor, an IV started, and blood sugar evaluated,” the report stated.

“The Mule” is the latest wildland rescue vehicle obtained by the Fort Huachuca Fire Department. It is an all terrain response vehicle equipped with medical supplies and seats as many as four first responders and one patient on a gurney.

“‘The Mule’ was able to get us up there with all our gear,” said Mercer, a 6-year veteran of the Fort Huachuca Fire Department.

“As he was being stabilized and loaded onto ‘the Mule,’ I brought in the helicopter. It landed on West Gate Road. I gave the flight nurse and paramedic a quick brief and guided them into the scene. He was then placed in their packaging device and loaded onto the helicopter and taken to the medical facility in Tucson,” Rhodes said.

“Everyone [firefighters] was very professional. They performed flawlessly, and they all knew what to do. They knew how to treat the patient. We treat all of our patients the same, but we had been in contact with this person on police calls, it was like a Battle Buddy, and this was the difference with this response,” Rhodes added.

When asked about being considered heroes, Mercer explained, “I love my job, and I love what I do; I didn’t sign up to be a hero.”

Rhodes agreed. “I don’t particularly feel like a hero because it’s part of the job, and it’s what we do.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Photos by Staff Sgt. Steve Cortez

CSA makes first visit here, highlights unique capabilities

Photos by Staff Sgt. Steve Cortez U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno speaks with 111th Military Intelligence Brigade leadership during his visit to Fort Huachuca, AZ, Dec. 9, 2014. Fort Huachuca leadership hosted Chief o...
 
 

Avoid becoming a DUI statistic over coming holidays

As Soldiers prepare for holiday block leave and Families plan their festive holiday gatherings, Army Substance Abuse Program personnel remind Soldiers, Civilians and the community that drunk or drugged driving can be a lethal combination with disastrous consequences, even death. In Arizona, if a person driving is impaired to the slightest degree, he or she...
 
 
City of Sierra Vista

Sierra Vista receives “Purple Heart City” designation

City of Sierra Vista Sierra Vista Mayor Rick Mueller, city officials, senior leaders from Fort Huachuca and members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart stand before the sign designating Sierra Vista a Purple Heart City. T...
 

 

Parking lots can be modern-day mazes

With the holidays fast approaching, parking lots tend to get more crowded as people jostle for spaces so they can mail cards and packages and do last-minute shopping for gifts, parties and holiday dinners. Many people find parking lots are among the most confusing places to drive, according to Anastasia Dean safety and occupational health...
 
 

Civilian of the Month

Debbie Short Civilian of the Month: Debbie Short Agency: Network Enterprise Technology Command Position and duties: Civilian workforce development specialist responsible for training, education and budgeting of the civilian development program How long at current assignment: 4 years, 7 months How long in government service: 30 years today Residence: Tucson Family: Son Joshua Short, 26...
 
 

ACS offers scholarships, resiliency training

AER provides scholarships Army Emergency Relief maintains two scholarship programs — the Spouse Education Assistance Program and the Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarship Program for dependent children. Both scholarships provide financial assistance for students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree. Scholarship applications will be accepted from Jan. 2 to May 1 each year for...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin