SEMBACH, Germany — Sgt. 1st Class Michelle Paris, a combat medic assigned to Regional Health Command Europe, was awarded the Department of the Army Safety Guardian Award during a ceremony held at RHCE headquarters on Wednesday, August 31.
Paris was presented the Army-level award for her quick reaction and for providing first aid to several injured airmen and a German local national following a major two-car accident on a narrow two-lane road during the early morning hours of May 13 near Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Army combat medics are trained to provide medical care in austere or combat environments. They provide trauma and medical treatment at point of injury as well as primary care and evacuation to the next level of care.
“The casualty care I provided that day was instinctive and automatic due to my years of military medical training and real-life combat deployments I’ve experienced,” said Paris. “There was no time to be hesitant or have second thoughts about the care I was providing. Once on scene, I was able to assess the situation, establish scene safety and determine the mechanism of injury. I then prioritized [providing care to] the casualties based on what I saw and knew.”
To everyone that knows her, Paris is not the type who wants to be in the limelight and toot her own horn.
“We’ve got a real hero here,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Kyle Brunell, command sergeant major for Regional Health Command Europe. “To her, it was no big deal. She didn’t even come in and tell anybody what had happened that morning. To her, it was just business as usual. She’s pretty much Johnny-on-the-spot and just a great person to have around.”
To date, only seventeen Soldiers across the entire U.S. Army have been awarded the Army Safety Guardian Award in fiscal year 22. The Army Safety Guardian Award is awarded to Soldiers and DA Civilians who demonstrate extraordinary actions or skills by reacting to an emergency event or an imminently dangerous situation, thereby eliminating or minimizing loss, such as damage to Army property or injury to Army personnel.