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Knowledge that saves lives

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Austin Jackson
  • 908th Airlift Wing

The 908th Aeromedical Staging Squadron taught an introductory life support course on July 10, 2022, at the clinic on Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

The class focused on roles and responsibilities in a moment of crisis, and ended with the 10 Airmen in attendance receiving a two-year CPR certification.

Master. Sgt. Quincy Miller, 908 ASTS emergency medical service coordinator, taught the class and drew from his experiences performing CPR in real situations.

He recounted a story of a baby lying in the grass while the infant’s parents helplessly screamed for help. Arriving on the scene, he told himself, “I’ve got this,” holding the baby in his arms.

“I’m trying to do CPR on this baby,” he said. “And I’m thinking, ‘where is this ambulance?’”

Miller explained that in situations of panic and chaos, the concept of time itself could seem irrelevant.

“When you are in an emergency,” he said, “every minute feels like an eternity.”

Ultimately, the baby survived which, according to Miller, underscores the importance of remaining calm and in control of yourself and the situation.

“Help is coming as fast as it can,” said Miller. “Just hold it together and do what you’re trained to do.”

The class watched a CPR video demonstration, and then put their knowledge to the test using CPR training mannequins.

According to Airman 1st Class Chelsea Evans, a 908 ASTS aerospace medical service technician, the tactile experience helped prepare them for real-life situations.

“I like the training,” she said. “I like that we get to practice the CPR and not just learn about it.”

Miller instructed the students to complete a full two-minute set of 30 chest compressions and administer two breaths with a manual resuscitator device, which he acknowledged can be a strenuous task.

Senior Master Sgt. Adam Childers, a flight engineer with the 357th Airlift Squadron, says this was the most humbling part of the training.

“Seeing how much effort it takes to do a full round was harder than I thought it would be,” he said.

According to Miller, his end goal is to equip the 908 AW members with the skills to react instinctively to an emergency because you never know when employing those skills may mean the difference between life and death.

“I could go into cardiac arrest right now,” he said. “It can happen anywhere at any time.”

Transferring that knowledge to his students produces a level of personal pride for Miller.

“My favorite part of this training is knowing that I’m giving people the information to save lives,” said Miller. “It just means something to me.”

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VIDEO | 00:36 | 908th Aeromedical Staging Squadron Teaches introductory life support course