AZ Guard Soldiers render aid after motor vehicle collision

AZ Guard Soldiers render aid after motor vehicle collision

Army Staff Sgt. Brian Bowling and Pfc. LynnRae Acothley, rendered aid at the scene of a five-vehicle collision on the east bound Loop 202 in Tempe, Ariz. until first responders could arrive on scene, Jan. 28. (National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Bowling)

 

PHOENIX – Two Arizona Army National Guard Soldiers received the Army Commendation Medal for actions taken following a vehicle collision, in a ceremony here Feb. 2.

At the Allen Readiness Center on Papago Park Military Reservation, Army Staff Sgt. Brian Bowling and Pfc. LynnRae Acothley received their awards from Army Col. John Hoefert, commander of the 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade for their actions at the scene of a motor vehicle collision on Loop 202, Jan. 28.

Bowling and Acothley, both combat medics for the 856th Military Police Company, were traveling to a training site in Florence, Arizona, when they approached the scene of a five-vehicle collision on the east bound Loop 202 at the Loop 101 interchange.

Bowling, who has been a member of the AZARNG for 14 years, also works as a flight medic for a private company. 

“As we approached the scene of the accident I could see that one of the vehicles was smoking badly and there were no local first responders on scene,” said Bowling. “I knew right then we needed to take action.”

Bowling positioned his vehicle to protect the scene and direct approaching vehicles out of the traffic lane as Acothley put on her road guard vest and cleared vehicles of potentially injured occupants. Bowling and Acothley began treatment on two patients for injuries from the accident. One sustained a laceration to her leg and the other expressed severe pain to pelvis, back and neck.

“The skills I was taught during my military training just kicked in,” said Acothley. “Although I had not yet needed to use my newly acquired skills outside of a training environment, they came to me like second nature.”

Concerned about possible internal injuries, Bowling and Acothley placed the victim on a backboard and braced her neck. The Soldiers carried the patient out of harm’s way when fuel leaking from one of the vehicles re-ignited, and kept the area clear until the Tempe Fire Department arrived on scene.

“Many people may think that this is all in a day’s work,” said Hoefert, “but to come upon a scene such as this and without hesitation take action, secure a scene and treat injured patients, that is outstanding.”