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News > For Ohio Airman, saving lives 'just doing what I am trained to do'
 
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Senior Airman David Kitchen holds a first aid kit he has used many times when aiding passengers at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.
Senior Airman David Kitchen holds a first aid kit he has used many times when aiding passengers at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. (Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade)
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For Ohio Airman, saving lives 'just doing what I am trained to do'

Posted 6/26/2013   Updated 6/27/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade
445th Air Expeditionary Wing


6/26/2013 - BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan -- "I wouldn't really consider these lifesaving gestures, I was just doing what I am trained to do," said Senior Airman David Kitchen, 455th Expeditionary Aerial Port Squadron, aerial transportation journeyman.

In many circumstances training acquired in the military helps airmen save lives, but for Kitchen, his civilian job skills also contributed to him saving three lives here in the past month.

Kitchen is an emergency medical technician and firefighter in Dayton, Ohio, when he is not serving with the 179th Airlift Wing of the Ohio National Guard.

"His emergency medical technician skills are useful when someone needs medical assistance in one of the busiest passenger terminals in Afghanistan," said Staff Sgt. Donald Kraft, Kitchen's supervisor.

The terminal transports more than 1,200 passengers a day through Bagram. One of those passengers was a man in his mid-50s.

"He was complaining of chest pains and blurred vision, when Airmen 1st Class Hixson came and retrieved me to see if I could help him," said Kitchen. "After taking his pulse and asking detailed questions I found out the elderly man had hypertension and forgot to take his medication."

The importance of knowing Self-Aid Buddy Care was also reiterated during these emergency situations.

"I tell everyone I work with to understand SABC because it may mean life or death in some situations," said Kitchen, who is also a SABC instructor. "Even if you are not in a medical field, if you know SABC, you can still do life saving measures until the paramedics arrive."

Although Kitchen says he has always loved helping people, his family has long tradition of providing civil service and saving lives. Since he can remember he has wanted to follow in his uncle's footsteps. He is also a member of the same Guard unit and works in Columbus as a firefighter and paramedic.

"My uncle, Tech. Sgt. Robert Comer, is the reason I work so hard at everything I do. And the reason I wanted to be a paramedic and join the military," said Kitchen, of Mount Sterling, Ohio.



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