FORT HOOD, Texas – Selfless service is a trait expected from the women and men who don a Profession of Arms uniform in defense the nation. For medical professionals, whether on or off-duty, saving lives is who they are, and what they do.
Redmond, Oregon native, Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery Wiglesworth, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, has been in the Army for 18 years and is still eager to come into work every day.
“I am motivated being part of a team that is making a difference not only for my unit, but to Fort Hood and the Army as a whole,” said Wiglesworth.
Maj. Kristin Fiala, emergency room physician, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, was the 13th ESC Surgeon previously, and worked with Wiglesworth for over a year.
“He is the kind of Soldier that both officers and junior Soldiers look up to,” Fiala said. “He is a listening ear for anyone in need and volunteers himself to assist fellow Soldiers with personal or professional issues. He is a quiet professional who always upholds the standards and puts the mission first.”
Wiglesworth dedicates his life to helping others, and has been crucial in helping save the lives of civilians recently.
On Sept. 11, while travelling down Highway 130, Wiglesworth encountered a car on its side.
“I saw a rollover right after it happened,” Wiglesworth explained. “I was about six cars back and saw there were no emergency vehicles.”
Wiglesworth was able to see someone’s arm hanging out of the driver’s side window and went to the driver.
“I immediately assessed the patient to see if he was conscious and checked for bleeding,” Wiglesworth said. “He was alert but in a lot of pain.”
When the police arrived, Wiglesworth helped the officer remove the driver through the windshield and performed a body sweep checking for any fractures or bleeding.
The medical professionals arrived 20 minutes later, and Wiglesworth stayed with the driver and continued monitoring him for pain, breathing and kept him calm until they arrived.
A week later, Wiglesworth approached another accident on Highway 195 after it happened, and his medical instincts took over.
“I saw there were no emergency responders so I pulled over,” Wiglesworth said. “There were three cars involved so I started checking vehicles.”
After checking the first vehicle, Wiglesworth noticed smoke coming from the next vehicle’s deployed airbags.
“There was a female in the back seat with blood all over her face who was being pulled from the vehicle,” Wiglesworth said. “I had them place her in the grass off the road and I started to access her injuries.”
Wiglesworth wiped blood from her face with gauze but could not find where it was coming from.
“I was thinking her ear and as I assessed further, I noticed a possible fracture to her left arm and a deep wound to her left lower leg,” Wiglesworth said.
Wiglesworth had a bystander retrieve a blanket which he propped under the driver’s head and he then tried to stabilize her arm to limit the pain until help arrived.
“Medical responders showed up and I gave a quick run-down of what I had seen of the patient’s injuries,” Wiglesworth said.
Even off-duty, Wiglesworth displays the Army Values, and it’s something he will do any chance he can.
“Many people wouldn’t help people in distress once, not to mention twice,” Wiglesworth explained. “I think we owe it to each other to help wherever we are able. Giving medical aid is something I have been trained to do and when the situation arises, I will not hesitate to help whether it is a Soldier or a civilian.”