Maj. Gen. Brian J. Mennes, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander, awarded 91st MP Battalion Soldiers and Fort Drum firefighters the Climb to Glory Award of Excellence for Life Saving Measures on Nov. 21, 2019, at Fort Drum, New York. The first responders were recognized for their life-saving efforts made on Oct. 25, 2019. Recognized were Staff Sgt. Casey Raines, Spc. Joel Boulden, Pfc. Nnamdi Chandler, and Pfc. Robert Mushtare, and Fort Drum firefighters Lt. Jeremy O'Neill and Travis Donelson. (U.S. Army photos by Sgt. Phillip Tross)
Soldiers and firefighters save life on Fort Drum
Sgt. Phillip Tross
27th Public Affairs Detachment
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Nov. 21, 2019) – What was believed to be a routine call quickly became a race against time for members of the Fort Drum Fire Department and 511th Military Police Company on the night of Oct. 25.
Members of Fire Station Two and 511th MP Company responded to an emergency medical service call about an unresponsive and unconscious spouse of a Fort Drum Soldier in a park on post.
“We were expecting the fire department to already be on the scene, but we were first,” said Spc. Joel Boulden. “We saw a female face down in the dirt, unconscious, and surrounded by spectators. When asked if she could respond to our commands, she could not.”
As they waited for the fire department to arrive, Boulden and his NCO, while bracing the woman’s spine, rolled her over and realized she was blue and purple in color, indicating she wasn’t receiving oxygen.
“At that moment we knew we needed to conduct CPR,” Boulden said.
After four cycles of CPR and chest compressions, a team from Fire Station Two arrived and began chest compressions with their automated, external, defibrillators. The spouse was administered two shocks with the AED. The second shock restarted her heart and gave her a consistent pulse.
“We get the ‘unconscious, unresponsive’ quite a bit,” said Lt. Jeremy O’Neill, lead firefighter. “Normally it’s not as bad as what we encountered. Thankfully, the military police were on scene conducting CPR.”
Once the woman was stable, the MPs and firefighters moved her into an ambulance, notified her husband, and made sure her children were safe.
“It’s extremely important for as many people as possible to learn CPR and other life-saving measures,” Boulden said. “I believe the spectators could’ve taken measures before we arrived, or at least moved her into a more advantageous position. The community needs to be more aware of the simple and easy steps to do in an emergency.”