Camp Casey medical team provides first-aid to injured Korean civilian

Camp Casey medical team provides first-aid to injured Korean civilian

by PFC Kwon, Kihyun

A medical team from 210th Field Artillery Brigade Combined Troop Aid Station provided first-aid treatment to a Korean civilian injured in a car accident on February 3 in Jihaeng, Dongducheon.

Cpt. Erin Tompkins, Cpt. Bryan Bubena, Cpt. Brandon Penebacker and Cpt. Christopher Gonzalez were traveling south towards Jihaeng by a car, when they spotted a Korean gentleman lying on the side of the road, bleeding. On other side of the road were two taxies that seemed to have had a collision.

Since the team were the only medical providers in the area, they parked their vehicle and went to see what was going on and make sure everyone was safe.

Cpl. Seungjae Kang, a transportation management coordinator assigned to 210th FA Bde., 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-US Combined Division, had also witnessed the accident and was able to translate for the medical team what happened.

While Kang called the ambulance, Gonzalez retrieved a first aid bag from his car. The medical team stopped the gentleman's bleeding and then conducted a physical assessment.

"I was surprised that they had a first aid bag in their car, because the accident was not something they could predict in advance," said Kang. "It really seemed like they are always prepared for medical emergencies."

"As a medical provider, once you start treating someone you cannot leave the scene until you know that the patient being taken care of," said Tompkins, a field surgeon and a Houston, Texas native assigned to 210th Field Artillery Brigade. "We had to stay with the patient, making sure he is safe for like 10 to 15 minutes until the ambulance showed up."

Civilians around the scene helped stop the traffic to make sure the patient was safe while the medical team was treating him. When the ambulance arrived, the patient was transported to St. Mary’s hospital in Uijeongbu.

According to Tompkins, the physician assistants of the team are very high-level trained medical providers. The Army has taught all of them to be prepared for whatever situation they may encounter.

"It may seem like we have done something glorious, but it was something that we would do every day for anybody who needs medical care," said Tompkins. "I am very proud to be part of a team that has the ability to take care of people in an emergency every single day."

"For the first time I felt it was very lucky for me to be a KATUSA, who can coordinate with my battle buddies from the United States to conduct a worthy job like this," said Kang. "I hope this will become a chance to let Korean people know how American Soldiers and KATUSAs are doing our self-less service."

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