Marines are trained to head towards some of the most dangerous situations in the world. When they hear gunfire on the battlefield, they pick up arms and start moving toward the action.
When two Marines in Southern California encountered a traffic situation, that mentality may have saved the life of a motorcyclist.
Fast Action May Have Saved an Accident Victim’s Life
Staff Sgt. Javier Acosta was on his way home with his family when he noticed a change in traffic flow. He spotted an accident victim rolling on the ground, so he immediately got out of his vehicle and approached the situation. He found that Anthony Vaughn, a local resident, had smashed his motorcycle into the back of a pickup truck.
Acosta saw that Vaughn was in trouble. His leg was almost completely severed and he was bleeding profusely. The Marine surveyed his environment, spotted a man walking towards the accident, and told him to call 9-1-1. Acosta then began to use the life-saving first aid instruction that he learned during basic training.
Unfortunately, Acosta could only do so much for the ailing motorcyclist. He simply did not have the proper tools to stop the bleeding and prepare him for the ambulance.
Luckily, that’s when Sgt. Ronny Pool arrived with a trauma kit. Pool began to search for items that could save Vaughn’s life. They needed a tourniquet, but the trauma kit did not have one. Thinking on his feet, Acosta instructed Pool to make a tourniquet out of his belt. They then removed the man’s helmet and kept his neck straight to prevent spinal injuries. They helped the man for nearly 30 minutes before an ambulance arrived to provide professional help.
A group of paramedic students eventually joined the two Marines to offer additional assistance while they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
Two Marines Used Their Training to Help the Community
Pool and Acosta did not know each other, but they had been deployed to the Middle East a combined six times. Neither had ever needed to use their emergency training in the battlefield. That marine training, however, has helped them serve their communities now that they have returned home.
When Pool arrived, he did not even know that Acosta was a Marine (he was not in uniform at the time). Still, they worked together to keep the victim alive.
All Marines receive emergency first aid training to save lives on the battlefield. Pool says that the training immediately came back to him. His first thoughts were to stop the bleeding, keep the accident victim breathing, and start treating the man for shock. This training probably saved Vaughn’s life.
During basic training, Marines learn life-saving skills such as:
- Dressing wounds
- Tourniquet application
- Bleeding reduction and cessation
- Keeping victims conscious until help arrives
- Preventing further injury
All of these skills served important roles for Acosta and Pool to have the ability to save the motorcyclist’s life. Had they not been sitting in traffic on their ways home that afternoon, Vaughn might not have survived his accident.
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