Reaching to his left cargo pocket for a tourniquet, Maj. Levi Zok with XVIII Airborne Corps, G3 Technical Operations, is reminded he has none. With sweat pouring down his face and his heart pounding, Zok takes off his belt to begin to apply a makeshift tourniquet. Glancing at his watch, Zok notes the time and applies pressure with debris from the wreckage.
“There was silence; everybody was crowding around the wrecked car in shock. I knew what I had to do,” said Zok. “There wasn’t much thinking involved, muscle memory kicked in and I took action.”
Waking up that day Zok had no idea this would be a day he would remember for the rest of his life. He took an alternate route home after a late day at work in order to stop by the grocery store for his family.
That’s when he came across a major accident involving a small white car and pick-up truck on Stoneypoint Road near Fort Bragg, North Carolina August 4, 2020.
Zok pulled off immediately to assess the situation. There was a group of bystanders gathered around.
“You could tell people were thinking about COVID, nobody wanted to get too close,” Zok said.
As Zok approached the wrecked vehicle, he noticed the arm of the driver having multiple fractures and dark red blood pooling , a sign of arterial bleeding.
“I just stood there applying manual pressure holding the tourniquet in place,” Zok said. “With my adrenaline pumping, it was all automatic, all of my training kicked in.”
The man began to make noises as if his brain had rebooted.
“You were in an accident, we are waiting for the EMT to arrive,” Zok said to the victim.
Fire Lt. Jose Pomales with the Stoney Point Fire Department, Station 13, was in charge of the dispatched crew responding to the accident. Upon arrival, Pomales immediately noticed a service member helping the victim.
“We immediately relieved Zok from his heroic efforts,” Pomales said. “If Zok wouldn’t have been there to help, the victim would have bled out, it only takes about 4 minutes.”
Stoney Point Fire Department is approximately 5 minutes away from the scene of the accident.
“It was nice to see someone step up and have a quick reaction to save someone’s life,” Pomales said. “People are typically standing around when we arrive at an accident.”
As the scene calmed down and the ambulance left for the hospital, Zok took a few minutes to regain himself.
“I think about how if I would’ve left work any earlier or later, and if my wife wouldn't have needed me to stop at the store, I wouldn’t have been there,” Zok said. “It’s just amazing how it all happened down the second, it's like all the stars aligned for me to be there.”
The Army offers a Combat Life Saver course which trains Soldiers how to perform tactical combat care, also known as TC3. Upon graduation from CLS, Soldiers are well prepared to potentially save a fellow Soldier’s life on the combat field under intense situations. Zok recently completed CLS as a pre-deployment requirement. Zok’s latest deployment was to Kuwait/Iraq and has been stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for over two years.