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Always at the Ready, New York Air Guardsmen Save a Life

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Jason Carr,
  • 107th Attack Wing

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A dozen New York Air National Guard Airmen are credited with helping save a civilian’s life on Aug. 9 while attending a military conference at Syracuse University.

The man appeared to suffer from a grand mal seizure-a loss of consciousness and muscle contractions- and a head injury while in the middle of Waverly Avenue, said Chief Master Sgt. Donald Trzepacz, the 107th Medical Group chief.

“Without hesitation, these Airmen sprinted across the street through traffic to provide lifesaving care to the patient, while others immediately took to control traffic and provide a safe zone,” said Trzepacz, who took charge of treating the man.

“As Citizen-Airmen, several of them are paramedics and police officers in their civilian capacity. This event shows how our multi-capable Airmen are always ready at a moment’s notice, no matter what the mission,” Trezpacz continued.

The patient was last confirmed as stable by emergency services before being transported to an undisclosed treatment center. The patient’s identity has not been released following National Guard privacy regulations.

The Airmen who aided Trzepacz were:
-Tech Sgt Patrick Little, 107 Attack Wing
-Tech Sgt Nicholas Yurenda, 174 Attack Wing
-Tech Sgt Emily Lewis, 109 Airlift Wing
-Tech Sgt John Robinson 105 Airlift Wing
-Tech Sgt Julz Krueger, 174 Attack Wing
-Tech Sgt Brittany Irvin, 109 Airlift Wing
-Tech Sgt Brett Kilborne, 224 Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS)
-Tech Sgt Daniel Horning, 224 EADS
-Tech Sgt Matthew Gammon 106 Rescue Wing
-Tech Sgt Adam Scott, 224 EADS
-Tech Sgt James Whitney, 224 EADS
-Senior Master Sgt. John McGhee, 106 Rescue Wing

The Airmen happened to be coming back from a break in the conference when the man collapsed.

The Airmen were attending the New York Air National Guard’s Technical Sergeants Involved in Mentoring Enlisted conference, known as the TIME Conference. The week-long event, held from August 8-12, was held at the National Veterans Resource Center on the campus of Syracuse University.

“We saw Chief Trzepacz running and we had no idea why at first; we just started running behind him,” said Irvin. “We just trusted him, so we knew it was for a good reason. That’s when we saw the man having a seizure and bleeding profusely.”

The actions of these Airmen were in the best tradition of the military, said New York Air Nation Guard Command Chief Denny Richardson.

“We spring into action; we respond to emergencies when other people are running away from the danger, especially when we see a civilian or another community member in need of assistance. That’s what we’re trained to do and that’s what these members did on that day,” said Richardson.

“They had the situational awareness; they saw the emergency happen and their training and skill set just kicked in. Jumping in and helping out validates what we do as the National Guard,” he added.