WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --
The morning of March 27, 2019, progressed uneventfully for 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, 14th Intelligence Squadron all-source analysts Senior Airmen Kassandra Minigh and Collin Millar. After a quick stop at the base clothing sales store to purchase a couple mandatory uniform items, they headed over to the base commissary for lunch.
Most of the time, the two have their meals at the dining facility. Fortunately, for one shopper at the commissary, Minigh “really wanted” some sushi that day and Millar was in the mood for a sandwich. As the two stood in separate lines, approximately 30 feet apart, placing their orders, they heard what they described as a “shrill yell or scream.” As they turned towards the sound, they both saw a woman in her 30s fall and hit her head on one of the stand-up coolers, and then again on a metal railing near the floor as the she fell. The woman then started convulsing.
“I really didn’t think,” Minigh said. “I just knew I had to protect her from hitting her head again.”
Millar instructed a commissary employee to call 911 as the two Reserve Airmen rushed to the woman’s aid. Minigh was the first to arrive. Having family members who suffer from seizures, she drew on her experience to provide aid. Millar was wearing a fleece jacket, took it off and handed it to Minigh who used it to create a barrier around the woman’s head to protect her from the floor and the cooler. Millar then positioned himself between the woman and the cooler, crouched down and stretched out his arms to create an additional barrier.
According to the Airmen, the woman was in seizure for about two minutes and went through several phases. At one point her body locked up and she seemed to stop breathing. She then started vomiting, so they rolled her onto her side and stabilized her again to prevent her from inhaling the vomit and choking.
“I was scared,” said Minigh. “But since (Millar) was there, I had support. We were talking to each other through the whole thing.”
When the paramedics arrived, Millar briefed them on the sequence of events. An older woman who was there with her thanked Minigh and gave her a hug.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am to have two young junior airmen like these two serving in our organization. As a former medic, they both did the right thing and a life was saved due to their quick response,” said Chief Master Sgt. Haisshia “H2” Havens, ISR chief enlisted manager/MAJCOM functional manager, Air Force Reserve Command.
Afterward, all the two could think about was the welfare of the woman and if they could have done more. Minigh lives with her sister, who is a nurse, and asked her about more life-saving techniques. Millar immediately began researching cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques and the use of an automated external defibrillator.
“I felt sort of overwhelmed because I didn’t know what to do, and I don’t like that feeling,” he said. “I want to learn more so I can help someone else if I need to.”
Minigh and Millar intend to share their experience with other members of their unit, and are considering advocating for additional first-aid/first responder training during Reserve unit training assembly weekends.
The 655 Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing is dedicated to serving as the premier and most diverse ISR Group in the United States Air Force, delivering timely, reliable, accurate and actionable intelligence products enabling a decision advantage over adversaries of the United States. The 655th is an independent wing under 10th Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, and consists of two Groups and 14 intelligence squadrons (IS) across Ohio, California, Texas, Nebraska, Virginia, Florida and Maryland conducting 10 distinct missions. For exciting and rewarding career opportunities with the 655 ISRG, please contact your local Air Force Reserve recruiter or call 937-257-8117.