DVIDS – News – US military first to provide aid in highway crash


When traffic recently stopped on the highway outside Genoa, Cristina Lopez, the wife of a retired U.S. Army soldier, knew something was wrong.

Lopez, a travel escort for a group of Americans returning to Vicenza after a day trip to the Genoa Aquarium, said their bus had just entered the Italian highway when they pulled over .

“There were three or four vehicles in front of us. I knew something had happened, ”Lopez said. “A car in front was overturned.”

No ambulance was on site. No one left their car. By all accounts, the accident had just happened.

Lopez, turning to the passengers, called for a doctor.

The four-hour bus ride to Caserma Ederle was supposed to be uneventful for Sgt. 1st Class Chantley Kiser, NCO of the US Army Health Center – Vicenza. A medical soldier with 20 years of trauma experience, Kiser heard the call and was ready to respond.

Grabbing a first aid kit from the bus, Kiser and Lopez ran towards the crash.

Three people were inside the overturned car. A mother was driving. Her son was in the front seat. A grandmother was in the back.

Upon reaching, Kiser cut the car’s engine.

With help, the mother crawled. They then helped extract the grandmother, who had “a fast, skinny pulse,” Kiser said.

“You could clearly see that she had bruises and a good bruise on the back of her head,” Kiser said, adding that she complained of pain in her chest and arms.

The young man was in a worse situation, said Lopez. Covered in blood, it was clear he had broken bones and a serious head injury. As Kiser bandaged his broken right arm and leg, Lopez translated.

“I didn’t extract it,” Kiser said. “He had broken bones and I didn’t have the right equipment. I didn’t have a (cervical collar) so I wasn’t going to move it.

An Italian doctor, also stuck in traffic, came to help us. Kiser summed up the injuries of the people and continued to help the son like the doctor helped the grandmother.

Meanwhile, other bus passengers, who were part of the US Army Garrison’s Family and Morale Welfare & Recreation trip to Genoa with the Outdoor Recreation program, came to help. Matt Wilson, the bus driver, and passengers Monisa McKay, Olivia Justino, Carmilee Harris, Brooklyn Sawyer and Jerry Trickett began directing traffic as Italian medical personnel arrived.

Paramedics then called a helicopter to transport the injured man by plane to a nearby hospital.

Lopez continued to translate for Kiser and calm the mother, who was in shock, Kiser said. As Italian paramedics and police arrived, Lopez used his language skills to brief them on what had happened. The ambulance left with the mother and the grandmother.

When Lopez and Kiser got back on the bus, the other passengers were clapping and cheering. Wilson started the bus and returned to Vicenza.

“I was very impressed. Maybe it was my adrenaline rush, but I couldn’t believe what just happened, ”Lopez said.

This weekend there were several crashes in the same area, Lopez said. Kiser and Lopez never found out the identity or conditions of the people they helped. That said, Kiser was glad the group stopped to help.

Their efforts exemplify the Army’s values ​​of selfless service and personal courage. But Kiser, a humble non-commissioned officer, saw it as his role to assist.

“Anyone can have a role to play,” Kiser said. “There is always a place you can help. ”

Date taken: 07.07.2021
Date posted: 07.07.2021 12:54
Story ID: 400459

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