NHANG Airmen offer possible life-saving assistance

  • Published
  • By Aaron P. Vezeau
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing
Airmen from the 157th Communications Flight provided medical assistance to two local citizens this week during separate incidents on base and off.

The first happened when Tech. Sgts. Jeffrey Inferrere and Gabriel Howard, as well as Staff Sgt. Justin Evans and Senior Airman Matthew Maylone, noticed a man choking while eating lunch at a local restaurant July 27. The four Airmen rushed from their table to provide immediate assistance.

Inferrere, who was first to reach the table, noticed that the choking man's friend, who had begun performing the Heimlich maneuver, were too low to be effective.

"I didn't think about it, I just reacted," said Inferrere, the 157 CMF computer plans and programs manager, who moved the friend's hands up to below the choking man's sternum and together they applied an abdominal-thrust that dislodged the stuck food. "I'm very thankful for all the training instructors who have shared their knowledge with me; otherwise I may not have known what to do in a situation like that."

After the incident, the unidentified man was able to resume his meal.

In the second instance, Senior Airman Kyle Charrette noticed a contractor working on base enter a restroom July 29 after suffering a head injury.

"His head and hands were covered in blood," said Charrette, 157 CMF client system technician. "I brought him back to Comm because I knew the first aid kits were here and we could use them to provide him with some immediate care."

Working in coordination with other communications flight airmen, Charrette began to assist the contractor. Among those assisting Charrette was Inferrere.

Inferrere began to treat the injured man's head injury and look for signs of shock by asking questions to determine his cognitive state.

Other members of the flight also offered assistance. Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Bascom, 157 CMF Quality Assurance, grabbed the first aid kit and assisted in dressing the injured area. Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Grazulis, 157 CMF client system technician, called for medical assistance.

The Pease Fire Department arrived on scene soon after and took over patient care. The contractor was released to his supervisor for further treatment at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

"It's important in these situations to make sure you have a runner who can meet the responding fire department or medical personnel," explains Systems Fire Chief Marc Chappell, 157th Civil Engineering Squadron assistant fire chief. "It helps us because we're asking 'Where's the patient' and the runner can show us the quickest path to the patient."

Systems Fire Chief Kory Skalecki, 157th Civil Engineering Squadron assistant fire chief, reminds everyone that it doesn't matter the time of day it is, his team will respond to any emergency.

"As a commander that makes me happy," said Maj. William Wilson, 157 CMF commander. "To see that the training we're doing is actually paying dividends."

When asked about his role in helping two citizens in the same week, Inferrere replied, "I just hope that what I did will help others to not be afraid to react in any bystander situation; by acting, you can make a difference."