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149th FW Gunfighter helps during mid-flight medical emergency

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kaliea Green
  • 149th Fighter Wing

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, TX - When the opportunity to demonstrate selfless service arrived, Tech Sgt Courtney Hoberek, a logistics planner at the 149th Fighter Wing, jumped into action. On a routine commercial flight home, TSgt Hoberek first noticed a low murmur and passengers becoming unsettled throughout the aircraft. With the commotion steadily increasing, Hoberek decided to intervene. Due to her extensive background as a registered nurse, firefighter at the San Antonio Fire Department, and as a Gunfighter at the 149th Fighter Wing, Hoberek had the skill and mentality needed to respond.

"In a situation where you don’t have time to think before you do things, the very first thing that you’re doing is trying to figure out who, what, when, where and why this happened,” said TSgt Hoberek. "You could see the [flight attendants] were visibly stressed, the whole flight could tell something wasn’t right."

The passenger appeared to have just suffered a seizure and was in a drowsy, confused state, however Hoberek was able to provide care to keep the patient stable until landing. Hoberek used her skills to communicate with the flight crew and ensure she had the tools to provide aid to the patient as needed. This ability to effectively communicate stems from each of her career paths, particularly her career as a logistics planner with the 149th FW, in which communication is vital.

"The biggest thing is we coordinate communication with all players to make sure everyone is getting what they need in a timely manner. We make the moving parts come together and make sure everyone’s on the same page. WIthout that, the mission suffers.”

Although it appeared that she was calm throughout the emergency, Hoberek explained that it was a trained response through experience and dedication to her craft.

"I am a super emotional person, so I have to be able to put that aside and do what is in front of me. You learn to take your emotion out of everything that’s happening at the moment […] and I think the military helps you in that way. You fall back on your training 110%."

TSgt Hoberek is a public servant who is tireless in her pursuit of service.

"I feel very strongly about being one of those people to help. You have to be a good person whenever everything else is going terribly and I legitimately try to treat people the way that I would want to be treated.”

As a registered nurse, she spent her days at a rehabilitation center specific for military and first responders, providing care for other service members in need. As a new firefighter, she is training to be able to respond to emergent situations throughout the city. Finally, as a Citizen-Airmen, she has not only served her country, but the community she calls home.