HomeNewsArticle Display

Airmen trust training, save child

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga.(AFNS) -- It was chaotic. People were screaming. There was smoke coming out of the large sports utility vehicle that was smashed against a tree at the in front of a forest. A frantic woman clutching a child panics and cries for help near the vehicle.

Miraculously, three Moody Air Force Base Airmen with life-saving medical knowledge were in the traffic caused by the accident and rushed in to help.

“I ran into the woods and on the ground was this young two-year-old, just laying in the wooded area, struggling to breathe,” said Capt. Lakeatta Tonge, 23d Medical Group education and training flight commander. “As a mother it was gut-wrenching. We are in the middle of nowhere and his injuries were very significant … there is very little I can do in a field with no equipment.”

Tonge immediately began assessing the child’s injuries.

“I went down to him and at that time all I could see was me and this baby,” said Tonge, a labor and delivery nurse by trade. “I realized his left leg was amputated and as I’m taking off my belt to stop the bleeding, another NCO shows up.”

Tech. Sgt. Jose Obregon, 347th Operations Support Squadron independent medical technician, saw the uncontrolled bleeding and told Tonge he had a tourniquet in his car.

As an IDMT and Tactical Combat Casualty Care instructor, Obregon is knowledgeable about combat casualty training; designed to prevent him from getting ‘tunnel vision’, which could inhibit him from noticing other wounds.

“We have a method to assess and treat the most life-threatening injury first and that’s what made me do a quick body sweep,” Obregon said. “I quickly put a tourniquet on and began taking care of the breathing.”

At that time Staff Sgt. Rickey Usinger, 23rd Maintenance Operations Flight auxiliary instructor, who teaches basic, life-support courses like self aid buddy care and CPR, arrived on scene.

“As I got into the woods I announced ‘I’m here and CPR qualified what do you need me to do’,” Usinger said. “They were fitting the tourniquet on his limb and I performed the jaw-thrust technique to open his airway.”

Usinger also provided a one-way mouth barrier so Obregon could begin respirations, while Tonge assisted by making sure the air was entering the child’s lungs.

“At the time I honestly couldn’t tell if my breathing was good because the baby was so small that I couldn’t see the chest rising and falling,” Obregon added. “So, she gave me clarification as to whether my breaths were good or not.”

They all suspected the child had a traumatic brain injury because of the mechanism of injury. After removing the clothing, they found the child also had a fractured clavicle with internal bleeding and a shattered humerus.

“One of the first responders was on his radio trying to get the nearest hospital to respond,” Tonge added. “They came across the radio saying they wouldn’t be able to get to us within the next 15 minutes because they were on another call.

“At that time we cared for the baby for about 20 minutes,” Obregon said. “Just us, in the forest, waiting on emergency services to arrive. During my second deployment I was exposed to a lot of mass casualties, but nothing like in a forest it’s you with this patient and you’re sitting there 20 minutes with what you got.”

As they continued treatment, the child began to respond and was soon airlifted to the University of Florida Shands Hospital in Gainesville. Obregon credits the fundamentals of his training for giving him the ability to help.

“Simple things helped save that child’s life, like knowing how to correctly use a tourniquet, opening an airway and knowing that this patient is going to be in a better situation as opposed to me not being there,” Obregon added. “I’m just glad I was there. I know there was nowhere else in the world that I needed to be except right there.”

Usinger expressed his pride in being able to help someone in need.

“I did it because it was the right thing to do,” Usinger added. “If I was in (those) woods I would hope and pray that someone would come and help me. If I can’t do it for someone else, how can I expect that for me or my family.”

Tonge expressed her pride in their abilities as military members to adapt and trust one another in a time of crisis.

“Well, that’s what we’re trained to do,” Tonge said. “As military medics when we deploy, when we go to unknown areas you don’t know your team but I knew we were trained, so I trusted the training.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
DYK: Aircraft have lifespans! Like humans, they require check-ups in the form of maintenance inspections to prolong their ability to fly. These "checks" prevent in-flight system failures which ultimately protects aircrew and passengers. Learn more from the 86th Maintenance Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on what it takes to correct issues so aircraft can stay airborne.
WATCH: United States Air Force pilots talk about the importance of Exercise Saber Strike 18 as they refuel over the Baltic Sea on June 18, 2018. Saber Strike 18 is a long-standing training exercise designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and our allies. The training focused on improving land and air operational capabilities between the U.S. and our NATO allies. (U.S. Air National Guard video by: Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)
Check out some shots from yesterday's All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game in Washington, D.C. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals U.S. Army
Air Force and U.S. Army coed softball teams render military honors during the playing of the National Anthem during the All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game, Washington, D.C., July 13, 2018. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals
Great way to lead by example!
The United States Air Force is facing a pilot shortage. To help solve the challenge, the Aircrew Crisis Task Force was recently created to provide strategic direction and actionable recommendations to senior leaders on how to solve the aircrew manning crisis. FULL STORY: https://go.usa.gov/xUb3z
Your United States Air Force news: ✓ A B-52 crew assists in a search and rescue operation off the coast of Guam ✓ An Afghan pilot class graduates in the Czech Republic ✓ The Air Force is using innovative approaches to training pilots to make the process faster and more efficient
Now that’s how weathermen work! Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters fly weather reconnaissance missions into Tropical Storm Chris and Tropical Storm Beryl. http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1569944/hurricane-hunters-fly-tropical-storms-beryl-chris/
The F-22 Raptor's combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. Maintaining these aircraft can involve a bit of a learning curve. Airmen at KadenaAirBase use past technology to help learn how to work with the undefeated Raptor. FULL STORY: http://www.kadena.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1567295/hard-to-raptor-head-around/
Help us out! Can you caption this photo?
The B-52 Stratofortress has sniper pods that provide improved long-range target detection/identification and continuous stabilize surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground forces. Air Force Global Strike Command crew members on a B-52 were able to spot a historic Pacific Island style canoe so that the U.S. Coast Guard could rescue the six passengers!
For the past 60 years, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has continually helped us maintain a technological edge against our advarsaries. Together with the Air Force Research Laboratory - AFRL, a fusion of ideas is leading to newly highlighted innovations.
SOUND ON! Celebrate freedom with the sound of freedom! Happy Independence Day!
At the @20FighterWing, munitions #Airmen train and work as a team to load 'em up & move 'em out.… https://t.co/9leaqRS8vI
Imagine trying to use a stethoscope on a plane. The noise makes the tool essentially useless. A new #technology aim… https://t.co/AYMf42Q0Wf
Read about this #Airman's experiences as he serves with the @Aus_AirForce through the Military Personnel Exchange P… https://t.co/6Td7p8u3ZO
RT @HQUSAFEPA: We. Are. NATO. U.S. Air Force F-22s and Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35s conducted training ops over Norwegian airspace toget…
Tune into this edition of Around the #AirForce https://t.co/SFdrh7AIIY
#DYK: Our #militaryworkingdogs are seen at veterinary treatment facilities, ensuring the #K9s are healthy and able… https://t.co/MZE22dcoZ1
The #USAF partnered with @DeptVetAffairs to implement the first Women’s Health Transition Pilot Program! Check out… https://t.co/mdlKYrV5Wg
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! This Washington #AirNationalGuard #Airman followed her mother's footsteps… https://t.co/PCto8QNH9L
This year's #AirForce Legacy Series alternate uniform is so good looking, it's Spooky. #AC130 #LetsFly #Football https://t.co/MlBfXciboD
RT @HQ_AFMC: Check out the finalist video from @WrightPattAFB's Ryan Law and SrA Jean-Paul Arnaud-Marquez in the @AETCommand "We are Airmen…
#AirForce, @USArmy and Polish paratroopers participate in the annual Aviation Rotation bilateral training over Pola… https://t.co/Lz1rp4orUO
It takes a team to accomplish the mission! This #Airman strengthens her flight through her commitment to bodybuildi… https://t.co/6Me0JrHILM
The #AirForce’s ability to respond faster than our adversaries relies on the talent and leadership of #Airmen. This… https://t.co/i5ZMsQTKbe
.@MacDill_AFB #Airmen answered the call, provided support to a critical #AirForce mission. https://t.co/arv5pu9szU https://t.co/qTIMzxskqF
The multi-national, joint training #NorthernStrike 18 is underway at Grayling Army Airfield, MI. With over 5,000 pa… https://t.co/izwdzk37tC
After getting an eagle-eye view of the #JPARC at @EielsonAirForce, @SecAFOfficial spoke to #Airmen, civilians and t… https://t.co/6XNlXYfKSA
RT @DeptofDefense: Fill ‘er up! ⛽ This @USAirForce F-15E gets refueled in the air from a KC-135 Stratotanker while flying over the #US. htt…
The odds that these two brothers have the opportunity to serve together at the same base, let alone the same squadr… https://t.co/yk1TdruHes