WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Two Airmen in the 711th Human Performance Wing of the Air Force Research Laboratory were awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal for outstanding achievement when they worked together to save the life of a coworker who was choking.
Staff Sgt. Kerrine Leguin and Staff Sgt. Joshua Bevins, both assigned to the Airman Systems Directorate, called upon their years of medical training to calmly and skillfully provide a coworker with emergency care.
Leguin, who had taught Basic Life Support and Self-Aid Buddy Care at previous assignments, said that she heard her coworker making strange noises in the office next to her. She asked if he was okay but he didn’t respond.
“Then he walked to my cube motioning that he was choking,” Leguin explained. “I tried to do the Heimlich Maneuver but was unable to successfully do it because of our height difference. That’s when Staff Sgt. Bevins stepped in and was able to successfully perform the maneuver.”
“The reflex to jump up and perform abdominal thrusts came out of nowhere, but I have to thank the training I've received throughout various points in my career for that,” Bevins said. “When the obstruction was dislodged and our coworker gained his breath again, the first words out of his mouth were ‘you two are heroes.’ I'll never forget that.”
The two awards were presented by Dr. Kevin Geiss, director of Airman Systems Directorate, at a Director’s Call in May.
“I’m very proud of these two Airmen, who were quick to recognize the emergency and then worked as a team to help the choking victim,” said Geiss.
The Air Force Achievement Medal is awarded to AF personnel for outstanding achievement or meritorious service rendered specifically on behalf of the Air Force.