VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. --
A series of unexpected events unfolded after a Vandenberg Hawks softball tournament as Staff Sgt. David Western, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron Airman dormitory leader, finished a game with his teammates in Paso Robles, Calif., April 9, 2022.
“After our first game, we decided to head back to our vehicles and discuss the strategy for our next game,” said Western. “While we were walking to our vehicles, Chief Master Sgt. Daryl Allen noticed an older gentleman sitting in a vehicle in an unusual manner. Chief Allen tried communicating with this man with no success.”
With the older gentleman still unresponsive, Western and his teammate, SrA William Boyce, 30th Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Instructor, took the initiative of providing emergency health assistance to bring back the gentleman to consciousness.
“I instructed Master Sgt. Chris Ammons to call 911,” said Western. “Boyce and I brought the man out of the vehicle and laid him down on the ground trying to find a pulse. With no pulse, I immediately started chest compressions and SrA Daniel Quijas assisted in giving breaths while Boyce ran for the automated external defibrillator.”
After the tournament ended, SrA Daniel Quijas, 30th Medical Group mental health technician and executive assistant with his wife and son walked down to join his teammates in the parking lot after the game.
“In the parking lot, I witnessed my teammates lowering a gentleman down from his truck. The man seemed limp and wasn’t moving,” said Quijas. “When I got closer, one of my teammates informed me that there was an individual found unresponsive in a truck. I then handed my 14-month-old son to my wife, who was standing next to me and I ran over to the person laying on the ground unconscious.”
Quijas confirmed with some of his teammates that 911 had been called and he then started trying to get the man to respond to him. He was unable to get a response and immediately told Western to start performing chest compressions on the man. After Western completed 30 chest compressions, Quijas began cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the man.
“We administered Cardiopulmonary Resuscitations for about 6 minutes, at that time I heard the man begin to making sounds and we got a pulse,” said Quijas. “He still was unresponsive but because he was making noises and had a pulse, we stopped CPR and rolled him onto his left side. I then discovered the man lost his pulse, so we rolled the man back over and began CPR with mouth to mouth resuscitations until SrA Boyce arrived with the AED.”
“SrA Boyce and I put the AED pads on the man’s bare chest,” said Quijas. “The AED analyzed the man’s heart rhythm twice while we continued CPR and mouth to mouth resuscitations.”
With the team being so quick to action administering CPR and using the AED device on the unresponsive gentleman this led to a successful recovery.
Boyce taking matters into his own hands, utilized his prior CPR and AED training to assist in bringing the gentleman back to consciousness.
“Honestly, medical saved everyone that day because they hold a CPR class every year for security forces and base members that want to participate in it,” said Boyce. “Luckily, I did that in November of last year, so I didn’t have to think about it. I just reacted from what they taught me in the class.”
Experienced professional, SrA Douglas Moore, 30th Medical Group aerospace medical technician, elaborated on the importance of getting trained for CPR, AED, and briefly gave an explanation of the process.
“CPR is comprised of chest compressions to circulate blood in the absence of a beating heart and ventilations to provide oxygen to the lungs in the absence of breathing that help to circulate blood throughout the body to provide vital oxygen to the tissues and organs,” said Moore. “The AED is important because the longer a patient’s heart stays in one of the abnormal rhythms, the more difficult it can be to get it back to a normal rhythm. Early use of CPR and an AED can provide lifesaving treatment to a cardiac arrest victim while waiting for first responders to arrive.”