Prior-service contractors help save Soldier's life
January 9, 2012
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Jan. 9, 2012) -- Being in the right place at the right time, with cool heads and prior military experience proved instrumental in saving the life of a Soldier.
While conducting routine training for the Base Expeditionary Targeting Surveillance System-Combined, known as BETTS-C, two contractors supporting the Project Manager Night Vision Reconnaissance and Target Acquisition were able to assist in saving the life of a Soldier struck by a sniper.
Greg Duran and Jamie Sturgell, BETTS-C support contractors, were enroute to the Base Defense Operations Center, or BDOC, at a forward operating base in Afghanistan to conduct a "Check on learning" of the Standard Ground Station. After exiting the checkpoint, Sturgell heard a shot and shortly later noticed a Soldier lying face down in the rocks a short distance from them, concealed from plain view.
Sturgell and Duran ran over to the Soldier to investigate and ask him if he was OK. As the Soldier tried to push himself up to speak to them, blood spilled from his mouth, and he was unable to reply. At that moment they knew that he had been shot.
Although they didn't have life saving equipment on them the two men, both former Soldiers with deployed experience, relied on previous training to assess the situation and provide the best attention they could.
"We didn't have our kit on us as because we were just going to BDOC so all we could to do was talk to the Soldier, keep him calm and tell him to control his breathing , to not move around too much because he was bleeding out pretty badly on his left side, " said Duran.
While Duran attended to the downed Soldier, Sturgell ran to find someone who could call for a medic. The combination of Duran comforting the injured Soldier and Strugell's ability to relay critical information ultimately lead to a successful airlift and life saving treatment.
"I found somebody with a radio to call a medic and I saw the door of the BDOC open so I ran inside and told them that there was someone outside who had been hit," said Sturgell. "Once the medic was notified they were on it quickly. The Soldier was up and airlifted within probably 15 to 20 minutes."
"This is a great example of the industry and the Army standing side-by-side as we operate in hostile environments," said Col. Edward Stawowczyk, PM NV RSTA. "These gentlemen, who everyday train our Soldiers on how to operate the BETSS-C system, saw a comrade in need and jumped into action ultimately saving a Soldier's life."
The BETSS-C system which Duran and Sturgell both are deployed to Afghanistan to conduct training on is a top Central Command priority that provides force protection and situational awareness at more than 350 locations in Afghanistan. The system utilizes a combination of tower based sensors to provide an envelope of protection for Soldiers operating in deployed bases.