As he prepared to present awards to six people for their quick-thinking response during a recent emergency, Maj. Gen. Rodney D. Fogg, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, reflected on the moment’s significance at a Jan. 30 ceremony in the Simulation Training Center on the Army Logistics University campus.
“You saved a life,” Fogg emphatically said. “You used the right equipment and your skills, and you saved a man’s life.
“CPR and the automated external defibrillator is something everyone should learn … that includes me as well,” he stressed. “You used both and kept this man alive for his family.”
On Jan. 27, retired Col. E.W. Chamberlain III, a defense contractor working for Army Futures Command G2/Future Operating Environment Team, Threat Emulation Force out of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, had a heart attack in the main lobby of the Sim Center. He was one of many people signing in for the five-day Enabler Integrating Experiment 20.1 starting that day.
An old friend of his – Juan Carlos Tienda from Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas – knew Chamberlain was having trouble when he said “good morning” and got no response. Tienda looked at him and knew something was wrong. By that time someone else did, too.
“One of you grabbed him and (helped him down) to the ground,” Tienda recounted. “We assessed him and started CPR. It’s something you never hope you have to do on anybody, but you always want to do it quickly and correctly when it’s needed.”
Maj. Patricia Hodson, a critical care nurse who was part of the JBSA team, led the efforts to resuscitate Chamberlain by directing the CPR performed by Tienda and two others, Maj. Alvin Williamson and Sgt. 1st Class Roger Lariviere. She also led the implementation of the AED by Staff Sgt. Lisa Watson and James Wunderly, both from the Futures Command directorate here.
Maj. Angela Davaca and Master Sgt. Anthony Picerno, also Futures Command staff members, realized the EMS first responders went to the wrong location, so they provided directions to where Chamberlain needed assistance, while CASCOM’s Capt. David Castro called 911 and stayed with the operator until the emergency personnel arrived.
“Ultimately, it was through quick thinking and the ability of many trained professionals that Mr. Chamberlain will see his family again,” said Joe Chretien, Army Futures Command - Fort Lee experimentation team lead.
Once well enough, Chamberlain sent a message back to everyone involved. “I and my family will be forever grateful to these folks for saving my life.”
Fogg awarded Civilian Service Achievement Medals to Tienda and Wunderly, and Army Achievement Medals to Hodson, Williamson and Lariviere. Watson received a command coin during the ceremony.