Commentary

May 30, 2014

Know it when it counts

Senior Airman Peter Thompson
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — For the three years I’ve been in the Air Force, I’ve experienced more training then anyone would like. I’ve always questioned why the Air Force insists we be branded with the same information during training over and over.

Personally, I thought Self-Aid Buddy Care was one of the least useful to me. I understood the importance of being able to implement it and knowing when to use it, but I never thought I would. As a photojournalist I constantly hear and read about Airmen who were at the right place at the right time and acted in a way that saved someone’s life. These are the stories I love to share with an audience. I didn’t think something similar would ever happen to me.

My wife and I were shopping at the super market. We were walking towards the exit when I decided to grab a few boxes for groceries. One lane down I overheard a man saying a woman had fallen in the aisle. At first I thought nothing of it; I didn’t want to interfere or be another obstacle in the way of her getting help. When he said she wasn’t moving and bleeding badly, something clicked in my head to go help her.

The others standing around the woman didn’t know what to do; everyone was in a sort of shock from what they were seeing. A few people were talking about what they saw and how she fell. This is where I discovered that the so called “redundant” SABC training had a reason for being redundant.

When I came around the corner the first thing I saw were her legs shaking, a step further and I saw her arms were locked out in front of her and she was seizing. I could hear the sound of her muscles tensing all at once and the choked grunts while she struggled to breath. When I kneeled next to her, she was gazing back at me with empty, bloodshot eyes.

Different scenarios and thoughts ran through my mind but in a very calm and organized way. Then I remembered: check vitals, apply pressure and stabilize her neck. Somehow I did one thing after another without having to put too much thought into the next step.

I turned her over so she wouldn’t choke, took off my shirt and held it to the back of her head. I directed several people to do things; call 9-1-1, look in her purse for any medication, grab towels and pillows. I held her head and body in my hands while she seized for what felt like an eternity.

Once she regained consciousness she was responsive but disoriented. Two other men arrived and were helping me, two trained first responders. We stayed by her side and kept her stable until paramedics arrived and took over.

Later that evening I began thinking about what I did and why I did it. The Air Force’s training had worked so well I didn’t even realize I was using it. I was fortunate enough to have known what I needed to in my situation, but looking back, things could have turned quickly. The number of times I had gone through the motions and answered monotonous questions actually worked and possibly saved someone’s life.

In that moment I discovered the importance behind training that may have seemed pointless at the time. There is always a purpose, even when I can’t see its impact. Situations like this, or worse, may arise again throughout my life and career so I will be prepared if and when the time comes.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 FightingFalcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat sce...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar

Lessons learned: Deployment exercise gives new insight

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar Master Sgt. Nicholas Alessi, New Horizons engineer 820th RED HORSE Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., lays block at the Edward P. Yorke school construction site April 9...
 
 
CMSAF1

CMSAF Cody visits Nellis Airmen

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, James A. Cody speaks to 99th Civil Engineer Squadron Airmen about surveying equipment July 17, during a visit to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Cody visited various units to experience first-han...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kiuta B. Ika

Dempsey takes reins of NTTR

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kiuta B. Ika Maj. Gen. Jay Silveria, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center commander, passes the Nevada Test and Training Range guidon to the new NTTR commander, Col. Thomas E. Dempsey III, during a c...
 
 
1000-hours

Pilot reaches milestone, achieves 1000 flight hours

Maj. Matt Allen, a 706th Reserve Squadron full-time air reserve technician who is assigned to the 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron as an F-22 test director, stands by an F-22 Raptor before flight July 21, at Nellis Air Force B...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Fuels management flight takes on Red Flag 14-3 full force

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Daniel Millard, 419th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels journeyman, prepares to fuel an aircraft participating in Red Flag 14-3, July 22, at Nellis Air Force...
 




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