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    Soldiers recognized for life-saving actions

    Soldiers recognized for life-saving actions

    Photo By Mark Olsen | Col. Lisa J. Hou D.O., left, Interim Adjutant General, and State Command Sgt. Maj....... read more read more



    Story by Mark Olsen  

    New Jersey National Guard   

    Six New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers were recognized May 19, 2021, for saving an individual’s life at the COVID-19 Burlington County vaccination mega-site in Moorestown, N.J.
    It all began close to 7 p.m., Feb. 15. The mega-site had been open less than a month.
    “We got a call over the radio ‘We need a medic,’” said Spc. Angel Ferreira-Fernandez, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry Regiment, New Jersey Army National Guard. The call continued: “’A patient fell on the floor and needs assistance getting up and he needs to be assessed to make sure that he isn’t injured.’”
    Ferreira-Fernandez, a Newark-based emergency medical technician, along with one of the site’s paramedics grabbed a monitor and emergency medical gear and raced over to the vaccination mega-site’s entrance.
    He is part of a group of Citizen-Soldiers that are supporting the site’s healthcare workers. They assist in temperature screening, registering and guiding individuals through the various stations, and monitoring people after they have received their vaccinations.
    While the vaccine administration itself is performed by civilian medical professionals, the Army National Guard combat medics are also there to assist when there is a medical emergency.
    “I asked him what’s going on, he said ‘I’m fine, I just fell and I need help getting back up,’” said Ferreira-Fernandez.
    “He offered me his hand and as I took his hand, I could see how his skin color was changing.”
    Realizing that the man was cyanotic – low blood oxygen – Ferreira-Fernandez knew there was more going on than just an individual falling on the floor.
    Both Ferreira-Fernandez and the paramedic recognized that the patient was going into cardiac arrest.
    “I took his radial pulse, the paramedic took his carotid pulse, to try to asses if he has a pulse or not.”
    There was no pulse.
    Ferreira-Fernandez began chest compressions, stopping briefly to put out a radio call for all medics to come to their location.
    “Within 30-seconds, Spc. (Kevin D.) Tran and Pfc. (Daniel E.) Magay were there to assist me. I have complete trust and confidence in Army medics based on the training they go through.”
    While all this was going on, Staff Sgt. Matthew L. Rehl, Staff Sgt. Manuel C. Rodriguez, and Spc. Jason M. Vaccarella were setting up screens to provide the patient privacy, as well as handling crowd control.
    Once they were able to get an endotracheal tube down his throat to enable him to breathe easier, they were able to get a pulse.
    “The ambulance team took him away to the hospital, we had successfully intubated him at that point and stabilized him.”
    At the May 19 ceremony, Col. Lisa J. Hou D.O., Interim Adjutant General, presented the Army Commendation Medal to Ferreira-Fernandez, Magay, and Tran and the Army Achievement Medal to Staff Sgt. Matthew L. Rehl, Staff Sgt. Manuel C. Rodriguez, and Spc. Jason M. Vaccarella, for their exceptional achievement and heroism.



    Date Taken: 05.20.2021
    Date Posted: 05.20.2021 09:29
    Story ID: 396908
    Location: MOORESTOWN, NJ, US 

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