Sometimes Airmen, regardless of their career field, are called to perform duties beyond their day-to-day job.
For U.S. Air Force Senior Airman David Perry, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron C-130 crew chief at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., his call to action came on the night of May 11, 2020.
“I was just hanging out in my apartment when I heard a woman start screaming outside so I looked out my front door to see what was going on,” said Perry. “I ran down and saw a man laying down, surrounded by friends who were calling emergency services and holding his leg up, and I realized that he had been stabbed several times.”
Perry jumped into action by applying two tourniquets to the victim to stop the bleeding as they waited for the ambulance to arrive
“I grabbed a first-aid kit and a tourniquet that I had from a mass casualty exercise I participated in,” said Perry. “I put a tourniquet on his upper thigh and on his arm to stop the bleeding. You never know how you’re going to react in that situation, and I was terrified. I couldn’t see well because it was dark, my hands were shaking and I was just trying to do what I could.”
Perry, who recently returned from an eight-month deployment, pushed through the adrenaline and chaos of the situation by relying on the training and experience he had gained through his time in the Air Force.
“I wasn’t really thinking, I was truly just acting out of what I remembered from my previous training,” said Perry. “A mix of self-aid buddy care training and other training I received before and during my deployment really set me up to be able help and do what I did.”
Various medical courses, such as SABC, are taught and refreshed for Airmen frequently as training and readiness remain high priorities for leadership all throughout the Air Force.
“Having received all the training I did allowed me to work through this using muscle memory and that allowed me to get out of my head,” said Perry. “I was able to help him long enough that the ambulance showed up, loaded him up and were able to take him away for further medical assistance.”
The victim was able to survive the multiple stab wounds due to the heroic actions of Perry, who took away a deeper appreciation for the training he has been given.
“You always hear that you need to take the training seriously and that you’ll never know when you are going to need it, and that’s exactly what happened to me and could happen to anyone,” said Perry. “Even if you think the training can become redundant and boring, take it seriously and take advantage of the opportunities afforded to you because you may have to use it one day and it could save someone’s life.”