Soldiers from a medical brigade were in a convoy on Fort Hood,Texas, when they spotted the scene of an accident and rushed to move an injured person away from a burning truck before the vehicle’s fuel compartment exploded.
The soldiers from the 9th Hospital Center, 1st Medical Brigade were training July 10 in an isolated area on post when they saw smoke rising and then found two vehicles that had crashed, the Fort Hood Sentinel reported. The truck had flipped and it was burning. Nearby, the injured man was on the road. Another injured person was walking around.
“When we got closer, we realized the extent of the accident,” said Capt. Jillian Guy, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 11th Field Hospital, in an Army release. “Everyone quickly realized that we were the first responders. Our main priority was to move the casualty away from the burning vehicle and save his life.”
Bystanders had already moved him from the truck, the release said. Medics on the convoy took it from there.
“My thought running up to the scene was to get him away from the burning vehicle as soon as possible and to control the bleeding,” said Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Newell, acting first sergeant for the 11th Field Hospital. “I was also thinking that we didn’t know if he had injured his spine, so I knew we needed to use cervical spine precautions as soon as we got to him before we could move him."
Then the vehicle’s fuel compartment blew up.
Both victims were out of immediate danger and soldiers kept working to treat them.
Medics put a tourniquet on the more seriously injured person, who they had moved, checked his airway and provided other treatment.
“Soldiers swiftly delivered care to the first casualty, applying a tourniquet for open bilateral femur fractures,” Guy said. “I saw the second casualty walking around disoriented, so I grabbed two medics to help treat him.”
The second victim had facial trauma and a suspected traumatic brain injury, according to the release.
The medics treated and stabilized both people until emergency medical services arrived.
Soldiers stayed on the scene to help, including Newell, Sgt. Eric Johnston, combat medic team leader, and Sgt. Mariela Jones, the platoon sergeant, the Sentinel reported.
"We were starting fluids, bandaging the wounds and placing the casualty on a spin board," said Newell. "Once he was on a spin board, Sergeant Jones moved to provide airway until he was placed on a helicopter."
The first casualty was medevaced to a local medical center and the second was taken to Carl R. Darnell Army Medical Center.
“The medics from three different companies quickly became one cohesive unit,” Guy said. “I have never been more proud of everyone on the scene.”