Sailor provides lifesaving first aid at Fort Sam

  • Published
  • By Petty Officer 2nd Class Cheyenne Geletka
  • Navy Medicine Training Support Center Public Affairs

Petty Officer 1st Class Amber Sanders, leading petty officer of the religious ministry team at the Navy Medicine Training Support Center, was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for providing emergency care to a civilian at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston on Feb. 29.

During her morning commute to work, Sanders approached the Harry Wurzbach gate on the north side of JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. Just before reaching the entrance, she noticed a woman on the ground at a bus stop. The woman was in a strange, unnatural position and Sanders quickly realized something was terribly wrong.

Sanders immediately pulled her vehicle to the side of the road and sprung into action. She realized the woman was having a seizure and called for emergency services before rendering first aid. Sanders continued to perform first aid and made sure the patient was safe until emergency services arrived.

“It was a natural reaction,” Sanders said. “It was never a matter of if I was going to stop, but rather how I was going to go help this woman as quickly as possible because something was clearly wrong.”

Sanders is certified in the American Heart Association’s Basic Life Support, or BLS, course. The BLS course is a training requirement for all hospital corpsmen, but it is available at NMTSC for any staff member who is interested in the qualification. Additionally, Sanders received tactical combat causality care training during religious program specialist “A” school.

“RP1 Sanders is setting the example for all our staff members,” said Capt. Paul Allen, commander, NMTSC. “As hospital corpsmen, our Sailors are always ready to ‘corpsman up’ at a moment’s notice. It is truly inspiring that our non-corpsman support staff have embraced the spirit of the Hospital Corps and can apply their training when it’s needed most.”

The news of Sanders’ actions spread quickly up her chain of command. A few short hours later, Allen awarded Sanders with a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal on the afternoon of Feb. 29 for her actions on that same morning. She was commended for her actions and bravery.

“It was the right thing to do,” said Sanders. “I feel like anyone would have done the same, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I’m just glad we were able to help that woman and get her the care she needed.”

NMTSC is the Navy component command providing administrative and operational control over Navy staff and students assigned to the Medical Education and Training Campus, or METC, and other medical programs in the San Antonio area.