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NEWS | March 19, 2015

METC Students Act as First Responders, Save a Life

By Lisa Braun METC Public Affairs

For six Air Force students attending the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC), being at the right place at the right time saved a life.  Airmen 1st Class Ryan Nelson, Jennifer Bagby and Efrain Gonzales, students in the Basic Medical Technician Corpsman Program, and Airmen 1st Class Christopher Grant, Miron Little and Airman Radcliffe McDonald, students in the Dental Assistant program, are being lauded as heroes after coming to the aid of a man suffering a medical emergency at a local restaurant February 28. 

The group was dining at the Longhorn Steakhouse in San Antonio when Nelson heard a man fall while in the restroom.  "When I heard the sound of his head hit the floor, I immediately knew that someone fell and hit their head hard," said Nelson.  The first thing Nelson did was attempt to open the stall door, but it was blocked by the man who fainted in front of it.  He could only open the door about two inches and could see the man's feet.

"I heard someone else in the bathroom and asked if the man who fell was awake.  He told me 'no'."  Not being able to help the man himself, Nelson asked the other person to get the Airmen he had come to the restaurant with. After being told of the situation, the Airmen sprang into action.

"Within seconds, Airman Gonzalez, Airman Bagby, and Airman Grant were in the bathroom performing CPR.  I heard the man begin to breathe before the EMTs had arrived," Nelson stated.  After two full cycles of chest compressions and ventilations, the patient began to respond. They placed him on his side to maintain air flow.

While the Gonzalez, Bagby and Grant were performing CPR, Little had instructed the restaurant staff to call 911 and to get the Automated External Defibrillator (AED).  He then helped McDonald comfort the patient's distraught family.

The San Antonio Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived within approximately 10 minutes of the 911 call and took over treating the patient before transporting him to a local medical facility.

Due to their amazing teamwork, and quick and effective response to a real life emergency situation, the patient not only survived but he and his family gratefully met with the rescuers just four days later on March 4.  The Airmen were recognized for their lifesaving actions in front of the student dormitory by their fellow Air Force students and Col. Kendra Mathews, 37 Training Wing vice commander.