Sergeants Save Fellow Airman
By 1Lt. Camara Minks, 155 ARW/PA
/ Published September 25, 2008
LINCOLN, Neb. - - -- The quick response of two sergeants from the 155th Air Refueling Wing in Lincoln saved a young airman's life Sunday when his heart stopped after collapsing while observing aircraft exercises on base.
Master Sgt. Jeff Dreith and Tech. Sgt. Troy Stauffer performed basic first aid and CPR for several minutes until Lincoln Fire Dept. Ambulance rescue crews arrived and transported the individual to a local hospital.
"We were observing the exercise launch [of aircraft] and noticed an airman standing against a pickup truck. He appeared to be passing out, so I ran over," said Dreith, who is a self aid and buddy care instructor on base. The airman had hit his head when he collapsed and started to bleed.
"We gave direct pressure to the back of his head to stop the bleeding. He then started to convulse," said Dreith.
By then Stauffer had arrived on the scene. Stauffer, a full time technician with the 155th Wing, works on the flight line and is also a registered nurse.
"I did a quick assessment and put him in a rescue position," said Stauffer. "After about a minute his heart stopped and we started CPR."
Dreith credits his training received in the guard for his ability to respond effectively.
"The training takes over and you just do what you're supposed to do," said Dreith. This was his first time using CPR in a real life situation.
"Everybody did a great job of responding. Instead of looking, people were doing. People knew what they were doing," said Master Sgt. Ron Hagge, another responder on the scene who assisted with basic first aid.
"In general, we're taught first aid and buddy care from day one out here. You always have it in the back of your mind," said Hagge.
Everyone who was present was glad that the airman was all right and that they were able to help.