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Face of Defense: Quick-thinking Airman Prevents Tragedy

By Air Force Senior Airman Michael Charles
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

SOUTHWEST ASIA, May 18, 2012 – While preparing for her night shift, Air Force Senior Airman Lanea Trevino noticed something odd about the shower stall next to hers.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Air Force Senior Airman Lanea Trevino, a command post controller with the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, prevented a tragedy when she acted quickly to help a female comrade who collapsed from dehydration. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The shower supplies, visible through the half-opened curtain, had remained untouched for the entire time she had been there.

"It was strange," Trevino said. "I had seen nobody else in the facility so it was odd that an entire set of supplies would be left."

While some might dismiss the empty shower stall and shower supplies as a case of forgetfulness, Trevino decided to walk through the facility to be sure. After noticing an occupied female toilet stall, Trevino knocked on the door and asked the person inside if she had left her shower supplies.

There was no response.

"I immediately began to worry," Trevino said. "I could see that she was in the stall but wasn't moving."

Trevino reached her hand under the stall and shook the girl's leg but there was no response. She quickly peeked under the stall and noticed the airman was unconscious. Taking immediate action, she ran to the nearest trailer and told the first person she saw to call emergency responders.

"My first instinct was to get help," Trevino said. "I couldn't tell if she was breathing or not but I knew that she would need additional medical assistance either way and ran to get it."

Fearing the worst, she grabbed a male, who had been walking by on his way to lunch to help her get the unconscious individual out of the stall. The door had been locked from the inside and the only way into the stall was to climb over top of it. The male lifted her over the stall and she opened the door from the inside.

Using a fireman carry, Trevino dragged the unresponsive female out of the stall and laid her flat on the ground. Moments later, paramedics from the 379th Expeditionary Medical Group arrived on scene and begin caring for the individual, who was later diagnosed with severe dehydration.

Being vigilant and watching out for your fellow wingman is the responsibility of all airmen, said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. William Harner, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing’s command chief.

"Trevino displayed the ethos we expect from all our Air Force teammates," Harner said. "She paid attention to her surroundings, noticed that something was not right, and acted accordingly. Her vigilance yielded a life or death result."

Heat-related injuries can include dizziness, confusion, heavy breathing or unconsciousness, Trevino said.

"It's our duty to look out for each other,” she said, “especially in the summertime when the heat takes its toll on your body."

Thanks to Trevino's actions the service member is due to make a full recovery.

"I would expect anyone else to do the same for me," Trevino said. "As airmen in the U.S. Air Force, we are part of a unique family and you never have to have a reason to look out for your family members."


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