News: Sailors assist in saving Japanese contractor’s life
Story by Pfc. Kasey Peacock
IWO TO, Japan - It was an unusual return flight from Iwo To Dec. 19 for Marines and sailors with 3rd Marine Logistics Group, as the routine trip home became a medical evacuation for a Japanese contractor who suffered a heart attack while running on the island.
While there are medical personnel on the island, there is no hospital, so it was imperative to the patient’s survival that he be evacuated.
The service members had traveled to the island on a professional military education trip. As they were preparing to leave, word was received that the contractor was in need of medical attention.
Two Navy corpsmen and one Navy surgeon, who were accompanying the Marines on the trip, responded immediately and worked closely with Japanese medical personnel to provide care to the patient.
The patient was stabilized aboard the plane which was scheduled to take the service members back to Okinawa. The flight was rerouted, and a stop was made in Atsugi, where hospital personnel were on standby to receive the patient.
“We worked with the Japanese medical staff assisting the patient with his needs,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Edgar Magallanez, a hospital corpsman with Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd MLG, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “Together, we kept the patient warm and comfortable while preparing him for hospitalization upon arrival.”
The service members showed their flexibility and crisis response skills in assisting the patient, and they played a pivotal role in saving his life, according to Magallanez.
“Anything can happen at any time,” said Magallanez. “While we were there to support the service members attending the tour, as corpsmen, we are trained and prepared to respond to any medical emergency.”
Despite having just hiked several hours up Mount Suribachi they responded without hesitation.
“The corpsmen did an outstanding job despite hiking all day,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher S. Eddy, a religious program specialist with 3rd MLG, III MEF, who was on the trip. “Everyone (was) concerned and willing to help.”
Marines have a duty and an obligation to support those around them, and their assistance showed commitment to duty and willingness to help others, according to Maj. Brian K. Trievel, the assistant chief of staff, G-1, personnel and administration, Combat Logistics Regiment 37, 3rd MLG.
“I think this speaks volumes about our military capabilities and dedication towards a positive relationship with the Japanese community,” said Trievel.