ANG members aid couple involved in accident
By Airman 1st Class Katie Schultz, 149th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 24, 2018
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Four airmen from the 149th Fighter Wing, headquartered here, came to the aid of two injured motorcyclists after a vehicle accident outside of a gate at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona during a deployment exercise, May 1, 2018.
Master Sgt. Carlos Gil, Staff Sgt. Eric Garza, Staff Sgt. Jonathon Holt and Master Sgt. Eddie Pastran – all from the 149th Maintenance Squadron, were on their way to work when they saw what looked like a small explosion and a motorcycle skidding across the road up ahead.
"As we approached, we saw someone fully covered in motorcycle gear sort of hobbling from a motorcycle which was on its side," said Garza. "We got closer and saw another individual laid out on the ground next to it about five feet away."
The group pulled over and immediately jumped out of their car to assist the victims, a married couple who were both on the motorcycle, while a bystander called 911.
"The male rider was disoriented and standing, but looked like he was about to go into shock," said Holt." We got him to sit down on the ground and calmed him down."
Three of the airmen went to assist the female rider, who was motionless on the ground with an injured leg, and began basic first aid until emergency responders arrived.
"We could see she was in pain and scared," said Gil. "I held her hand for a bit and we asked her questions to keep her from going into shock or slipping out of consciousness. We worked together, each of us had an area to tend to, between supporting her leg, talking to her and holding her head still. We worked in unison, almost symphonically, and nothing else mattered at that moment."
Gil and the others credit their response to the first aid training that all Air Force members receive.
"You train for stuff like this to happen on the battlefield, but you don't expect to see it or put it to use on a regular day," Gill said. "I'm just glad we were there. I'd hope that if it were me, somebody would stop and help."
The group normally took an alternate route to work but decided to try the North gate that morning.
"It was just one of those moments where we couldn't believe what we had just experienced, but we're lucky we were able to be there," said Pastran. "It's like it was fate because we normally go through a different gate. Maybe it happened the way it was supposed to that day, so that we could be there to help."
Once emergency responders arrived on the scene to take over caring for the couple, the group left to continue on their way to work.
"When we got back to the car, all of the doors were still open because we didn't hesitate to jump into action when we got there," said Holt. "It was one of those things where you don't even think about it. Before we knew it, we were running towards the people that needed help."
Afterwards, the group collectively agreed that they had done the right thing.
"We were quiet at first and didn't know what to say, and it was like that for the next five or six hours as we were coming down off of that adrenaline rush," said Garza. "Our main goal was to keep them as safe and comfortable as possible, and I believe we kept them from going into shock."