FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- You never know when or if your military training will come in handy during a walk through the woods. But on June 9, three 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Rear Soldiers sprang into action to help a young man who sustained injuries when he jumped into a pool of water at the Salmon River Falls in Oswego County.
Spc. Tiffany Brock, a combat medic assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, and a couple of her friends had just climbed down to the base of the falls when they observed a young man contemplating a jump into the water.
“I saw him looking at the water and say to himself, ‘I am going to regret this later,’ and he dove in,” Brock said.
“I could tell he hurt himself by the way he was swimming.
He came up and he went back under, then up and down again, and then he came up and finally got out of the water.”
When Brian Harrison, 18, a senior about to graduate from Paul V Moore High School in Central Square, got out of the water, his face and arm were bleeding severely. Clearly shaken by the event, he looked to the Soldiers for help.
“Cool, calm and collected was my initial reaction. I didn’t even think about it,” Brock said, recalling how she assessed the situation, remembered her medical training and calmed him down.
“I used my friend’s shirt like a tourniquet effect on his arm to stop the bleeding, and then we got one of the towels and put it over the cut so he could not look at it,” she explained. “Then we used my other friend’s shirt for his face, and he held pressure. He tried to stand up, but he got light headed. I told him to not try to stand up.”
By then, a couple of Harrison’s friends had arrived and asked what was going on. Brock told them to call 911, because the bleeding was pretty bad, and they would not be able to get him up the hill to safety.
When first responders arrived at the scene, Brock’s friends — Spc. Bryant Jones, a motor transport operator, and Pvt. Logan Young, a generator mechanic, who assisted her while treating Harrison — explained to the medical team what had happened.
Harrison was medevaced to a local hospital, where he was treated and released. His mother, Nani Lowrey, from Pennellville, recalled the events at the hospital and wished to thank those who helped her son.
“They did not have to stay and help him the way they did. I guess it took a while for the medevac to come out,” she said. “The emergency room told us that by them getting the bleeding stopped and keeping his arm up may have saved his life.”
“It was very nice to know there were military people around who know what to do,” she continued. “I know most of the military are trained, but the fact that there was a medic right there – it’s like WOW!”
Brock had never thought about being a medic in the Army. She originally planned to become a registered nurse, because she always wanted to be in the medical field. She credits her training at Conner Troop Medical Clinic and multiple field exercises, as well as being an instructor for the Combat Lifesaver Course, for her level-headed reaction to the situation.
“It paid off a lot. I’ve never seen a real situation that drastic before, but everything (the Army) ever taught me (came back). … I just kept my cool,” she said.
(Staff Sgt. Jennifer Bunn, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)