Training is not a waste of time
By Airman 1st Class Ariel D. Delgado, 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 25, 2014
LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A Laughlin Airman came to the aid of a woman who was struck by a vehicle while walking along Interstate 410 in San Antonio, Texas, on the morning of July 14.
San Antonio native, Airman 1st Class Ashli Harris, 47th Medical Group flight medicine technician, was on I-410, driving back to Laughlin after visiting family when she saw something in the rear view mirror.
"I wasn't sure what it was that I saw," said Harris. "I knew I had a choice, to keep going or turn around. Intuition told me to turn around."
After taking the next exit off the freeway and making a U-turn, Harris quickly realized her intuition was right when she saw a red vehicle on the side of the freeway and stopped to see what had happened, said Harris.
When she approached the vehicle, Harris noticed there was a man holding an injured woman lying on the road in front of the vehicle.
"I couldn't believe what I saw, I've been through training and exercises but it is nothing like the real thing" said Harris. "It was bad. I was in shock and I froze for an instant but I knew what I had to do."
Her training kicking in, Harris quickly assessed the situation and began giving the man, who was at the scene when Harris arrived, instructions.
"I told the man to hold her cervical spine to stabilize her spinal column as I checked her pulse and tried to get her to regain consciousness," said Harris. "I stayed with her until the ambulance arrived."
For about ten minutes, Harris and the man stayed with the woman doing what they could to care for the critically injured woman until emergency services arrived. Unfortunately, the woman's injuries were too grave and she died later that morning at the hospital.
"It is sad that she died," said Harris. "What I learned from this tragic experience is that training is not a waste of time. An exercise is not just for fun. There is a reason for it all," said Harris. "I'm just grateful for my training and I am glad I turned around."