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    West Virginia Army National Guard Band’s heroic acts

    2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree

    Photo By Sgt. Kyle Fisch | A view of the overturned vehicle, the soldiers who provided assistance, and the two...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Kyle Fisch 

    14th Public Affairs Detachment

    Most of the U.S. military service members currently located in West Virginia to assist with the 2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree are all well aware of their roles while they are here.

    Some assist with security, some assist with media escorting, some such as the 249th West Virginia Army National Guard Band are here to entertain, or so they thought.

    The 249th band is a great example of National Guard soldiers never truly being "off duty" and what it means to be a soldier 24/7.

    Upon concluding a successful performance at the Summit, the bandmaster and commander of the West Virginia 249th Army National Guard Band Chief Warrant Officer Five Thomas A. Goff agreed to take the band out for ice cream, Goff said.

    “We’ve been working several long days in a row, so we were going to take a break and go to Dairy Queen,” said Staff Sgt. Martin Johnston, one of the band members and participant in the rescue efforts. “About five to ten miles after leaving Dairy Queen was when we came up on the accident.”

    The band was en-route returning to Camp Seton after another long day of hard work, approaching the intersection of Rt. 19 and Mt. Lookout Rd. when they stumbled upon an accident that had just recently occurred, where a vehicle had struck another and caused it to roll over three or four times, and decided they had to get out and help, said Johnston.

    The band had recently completed the Army Combat Lifesaver training course back in March and so the training was fresh in everyone’s minds, said Sgt. Ashley Poole, a band member and participant in the rescue efforts.

    “After we stopped, we grabbed our Combat Lifesaver Bags that were in the vehicles with us and ran out to the victims to apply whatever first aid they may have needed,” Johnston said.
    Spc. Gregory Larsen, a band member and participant in the rescue efforts, was among the first soldiers to arrive on scene and provide first aid to a mother and her daughter who were the victims of this accident, Poole said.

    “When the vehicles we were in stopped, I grabbed a CLS bag and sprinted towards the scene,” Larsen said. “When I got there, there was a woman on the ground and a child about 10 feet away from her, the car was overturned there was glass and other items from the car spread all over.”

    Army soldiers are regularly trained in Combat Lifesaving, a course on first aid procedures to apply in life-threatening situations to quickly and efficiently save someone’s life, under the stress of a combat environment.

    “I immediately applied what I learned in CLS, I conducted an assessment by talking to her and seeing if she was alert, checked for bleeding, secured and immobilized her neck,” Larsen said. “By about that time Sgt. Poole and Spc. Goff were with the daughter.”

    The mother and child both sustained minor injuries during the accident, the child was asleep when it happened and sustained minor cuts and bruises and the mother had cuts and bruises but also complained of neck pain, Larsen said.

    “Both the mother and the daughter were conscious throughout the entire ordeal, so that was a very good sign,” Larsen said.
    From the moment these soldiers arrived on scene, it took approximately 30 minutes for emergency personnel to arrive and relieve them, Chief Warrant Officer Five Goff said.

    Every soldier who took part in this, all agree that their recent CLS training directly contributed to knowing what to do in this emergency situation and being able to efficiently handle this situation.



    Date Taken: 07.18.2013
    Date Posted: 07.21.2013 20:06
    Story ID: 110569
    Location: WV, US

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