Civil affairs Soldiers come to rescue of Romanian car accident

4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Story by Capt. Scott Walters

Date: 03.04.2016
Posted: 03.04.2016 12:29
News ID: 191134
Civil affairs Soldiers come to rescue of Romanian car accident

BAUMHOLDER, Germany – The quick thinking of two U.S. Soldiers may have saved the lives of three Romanians involved in a vehicle rollover Thursday evening.

The Soldiers, both serving on 4th Infantry Division’s Romania Civil Affairs Team as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, ran to the aid of the vehicle occupants after witnessing their car roll several times and come to rest on its roof on Highway A2 between Bucharest and MK Air Base around 4 p.m.

One of the Soldiers, Spc. Robert W. McCoy, of Saginaw, Michigan, is an Army combat medic who just graduated from Army paramedic school in October, a couple months prior to arriving in Europe on his first deployment. McCoy put his newly learned training into effect by conducting rapid-response triage to the three victims, one of whom was seriously injured after being ejected from the vehicle.

Sgt. 1st Class Adan Barron, a civil affairs team sergeant from El Paso, Texas, assisted McCoy in treating the injured. Both men are with Company D, 80th Civil Affairs Battalion, from Fort Bliss, Texas, which has been working alongside the Romanian Civil Military Cooperation to help enhance its capabilities and improve interoperability with their U.S. counterparts in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

"My passion is helping people,” said McCoy, a day after the accident. “Luckily with my job, I get to help people at some of the most critical moments in their lives. I take great pride in my job and knowing that I was able to help people in a critical situation.”

McCoy started triage on the ejected passenger, who was most seriously injured, with Barron helping to stabilize the man. The medic then assessed the other two victims, directing Romanian bystanders to help extract the passengers so he could provide treatment, said Maj. John “JD” Radnoczi, Civil Military Operations Chief with 4th Inf. Div. Mission Command Element, based in Baumholder, Germany, who oversees the Romanian Civil Affairs Team.

“These guys just do their job to the best of their abilities. Regardless of who was watching, Spc. McCoy would have jumped out of the car and ran to the scene to provide care just because that’s the type of person he is,” said Radnoczi, also of Company D.

Once Romanian paramedics arrived, McCoy gave them an assessment of the patients’ condition. Both Soldiers stayed with the wounded until they were loaded onto the ambulance.

“The swift actions of Spc. McCoy and Sgt. 1st Class Barron reflect the commitment that all of our Soldiers exhibit daily while serving across Europe under our Atlantic Resolve mission,” said their commander, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. James J. Mingus, Deputy Commanding General of the 4th Inf. Div. Mission Command Element. “Both men personify selfless service, and they did so in a noble manner yesterday through their life-saving actions.”

“Now our thoughts and prayers are turned to the families of the victims in this accident, who we hope will return to full health as soon as possible," said Mingus.

Barron said he was just glad to be in the right place at the right time, with a combat medic by his side, and both Soldiers’ training kicked in as soon as the incident occurred.

“I would expect someone to do the same thing for me if I was ever in that situation. Even if the situation was a simple flat tire, I would have still stopped. Helping others in any way can be contagious, and I hope that those who witnessed the event pass it forward someday,” said Barron.