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    Urgent Care Crash Course: Navy Sailor Provides Assistance for Crash Victim



    Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Carter Denton 

    Naval Hospital Pensacola

    On Friday May 8, 2020, a Sailor assigned to Naval Medical Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Pensacola was driving westbound on Interstate 10 when he witnessed a man crash his vehicle through the barrier and into the surrounding water.
    The Sailor, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class John Saiebilski, of Herrin, Illinois, assigned to the Urgent Care Center (UCC) of NMRTC Pensacola, quickly responded to this unexpected emergency.
    “I noticed him swerve into the right lane and he overcorrected back into his own lane and when he did he just kept going,” said Saiebilski. “He went through the barrier and then down between the two highways and his vehicle tipped onto its left side into the water.”
    As he watched this situation unfold, Saiebilski knew that the driver would need his assistance.
    “At that point I wasn’t a Corpsman I was just a person trying to help another person if I could,” said Saiebilski. “Somebody needed help and I wanted to help them and that was it.”
    Saiebilski and a few other witnesses stopped their vehicles and sprang into action.
    “I ran over to someone who I had seen stop and said ‘Hey, you need to call 911.’ [The driver’s] head was above water, but most of the truck was submerged,” said Saiebilski.
    Saiebilski has experience helping patients in distress during his time working in NMRTC Pensacola’s UCC, but this type of emergency response was new to him.
    “In that scenario, there were a lot more variables,” said Saiebilski. “I wasn’t in a controlled medical environment where I knew I’d have whatever I would need, so I had to improvise.”
    Despite the inconvenience of being in an unfamiliar environment, Saiebilski’s experience and training helped him to keep calm and provide care.
    “I just asked the medical questions that I would normally ask and then I said ‘just try to relax as much as you can and we’re going to get you out of here,’” said Saiebilski.
    After assessing the physical wellbeing of the driver, Saiebilski set to work assessing the situation.
    “The water was cold, so we were trying to work as fast as we could,” said Saiebilski. “I asked him if he could take his seatbelt off and get out, and he said ‘No, I’m trapped.’ The steering wheel had trapped one of his legs.”
    Saiebilski explained they took a calm moment to assess how to help and decided the passenger-side door was the best egress route. Unfortunately, the door was jammed.
    “Me and another person were standing on top of the truck just trying to give it everything we had to pry this door open, but we just couldn’t.”
    The task of freeing the driver proved fruitless without any tools to aid them, however, help had arrived.
    “In the process of us trying to get this door open, two highway patrolmen pulled up and one of them got in the water with us and they had tools that we used,” said Saiebilski. “We used bolt cutters to cut the steering wheel away from him and get him out.”
    With the driver free, Saiebilski and another contributor attached the man safely to a spine board and he was taken by boat to receive further medical attention. Saiebilski’s level-headed assistance in this situation no doubt led to a more efficient and timely resolution to the driver’s stressful situation. Saiebilski continues to provide patients with the same level of care at NMRTC Pensacola.
    “[He] is a lead from the front Hospital Corpsman, so it does not surprise me that he instantly went to the aid of another,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jacob Holcomb, Saiebilski’s supervisor in the UCC. “He is always involved with high-quality care to patients and aids in the training of every corpsman that comes through the Urgent Care Center.”



    Date Taken: 05.08.2020
    Date Posted: 05.18.2020 10:16
    Story ID: 370058
    Location: PENSACOLA, FL, US 
    Hometown: HERRIN, IL, US

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