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    Ohioans Helping Ohioans: Toledo-Area Army National Guard Soldiers Provide Assistance in More Ways Than One

    Ohioans Serving Ohioans

    Photo By Senior Master Sgt. Beth Holliker | U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers, assigned to the Ohio National Guard’s HHC 1-148th...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Master Sgt. Beth Holliker 

    180th Fighter Wing Ohio National Guard

    The Novel Coronavirus sweeping the globe since December, 2019, made its debut in Northwest Ohio in early March 2020, causing Gov. Mike DeWine to activate approximately 400 Soldiers of the Ohio National Guard, on March 18, 2020.

    Operation Steady Resolve is the Ohio National Guard’s name for its COVID-19 relief efforts. The 400 Soldiers are spread across the state at 12 different locations including one in Lucas County, Ohio. Their mission is to assist the food banks that supply all 88 Ohio counties in sorting, packaging, and distributing food to those in need.

    For five local-area Soldiers on mission in Lucas County, the National Guard motto of “Always Ready, Always There,” was more real than ever before as they jumped into action, saving a local woman’s life.

    While traveling back to the unit’s home-base at the Armory in Walbridge, Ohio, the Soldiers witnessed a single vehicle crash and immediately decided to take action.

    “After watching the vehicle hit a culvert on the side of the highway, we decided to stop and make sure the passengers were ok,” said Perrysburg resident, Specialist Aaron Gelb, an indirect fire infantryman assigned to the Ohio National Guard’s HHC 1-148th Infantry Regiment – 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. “Our training kicked in at that point and we didn’t hesitate or give it a second thought.”

    Soldiers participate in annual Combat Lifesaver Training, providing them the necessary skills to preserve life, limb and eyesight; to avoid any condition deterioration while getting victims to further medical assistance; and to provide members the ability to care for themselves or others when needed, in combat and here at home.

    “We knew it was a serious situation,” said Pemberville resident, Spc. Michael Flipse, a mortarman also assigned to the infantry regiment. “We wanted to help in any way possible.”

    First on the scene, the Soldiers headed straight for the vehicle to access the situation and determined that there was only one person in the vehicle.

    “It was really an exercise in teamwork,” said Deshler resident, Spc. Austin Tolles, a multichannel transmission systems operator and maintainer, also assigned to the infantry regiment. “I grabbed my pocket knife for Spc. Gelb to break the window and together we extracted the driver from the vehicle and moved her to safety.

    Moving the victim to safety and away from the vehicle, the Soldiers quickly evaluated the driver who was unresponsive and bluish in color.

    “There was obviously something wrong,” said Tolles. “The passenger was blueish in color and unresponsive, so we immediately assessed her airway, breathing and circulation and conducted sternum rubs in an attempt to regain consciousness.”

    While the Soldiers worked to regain consciousness and monitor the health and wellness of the driver, other passersby remained on the phone with 9-1-1 dispatchers until law enforcement and paramedics arrived.

    “The soldier's quick actions had a significant impact on the outcome of the incident,” said Todd A. Kitzler, Chief of Police, City of Rossford.”Their willingness to put themselves in danger to assist a person in need on a busy interstate highway is a credit to their profession.”

    “The team was highly reactive,” said 2Lt. Stephen Reid, Columbus resident and Officer in Charge of the Soldiers. “It is a true testament to their training and I knew they were acting

    While Ohioans brace for the impacts of the pandemic, doing their part to stay home in an effort to stop the spread, Ohio National Guard Soldiers are going above and beyond to answer their state’s call to duty, not only helping ensure Ohioans in need have access to essential food items but saving lives.

    More than 25, local-area, Soldiers assigned to the HHC 1-148th Infantry Regiment – 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and Bravo Company’s 1st Battalion, Ohio Military Reserve volunteered to support the local humanitarian efforts, in partnership with the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank.

    I am veteran of the U.S. Army, serving on active duty from 1986 to 1989, then in the Ohio Army National Guard, 323rd Military Police Company from 1990 to 1996,” said Kitzler. “There is nothing more valuable to the safety and security of our communities, State and Country, than having Citizen Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines willing to go above and beyond to assist in emergency situations.”



    Date Taken: 03.23.2020
    Date Posted: 03.24.2020 18:23
    Story ID: 365817
    Location: ROSSFORD, OH, US 

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