Offutt’s first responders come to the rescue

  • Published
  • By Charles J. Haymond
  • 55th Wing

On a cool winter morning in December, some of Offutt Air Force Base's first responders had no idea their lives would turn from ordinary to them becoming heroes.

The 55th Security Forces Squadron's elite guard received some disturbing news while conducting their rounds. There was an unresponsive individual at the east entrance of U.S. Strategic Command Headquarters.

The elite guards ran to the location and during the evaluation, suddenly realized that the individual did not have a pulse. This is when the team rose to the occasion and years of training kicked in.

“To be honest, I didn’t really have to think,” said Tech. Sgt. Robert Chukwurah, 55th SFS flight chief. “It was all reaction and training. I didn’t even realize what had actually happened until the person was carted off into the ambulance.”

Chukwurah conducted CPR on the individual until the fire department arrived.

“We took over patient care from the bystander and continued CPR while simultaneously performing rescue breathing, establishing a reliable airway, and attaching the automated external defibrillator following all the rescue procedures” said James Liptrott, 55th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter. “After performing two rounds of CPR and shocks from the automated external defibrillator, we were able to successfully regain a stable heartbeat.” 

Outside USSTRATCOM headquarters, Staff Sgt. Daniel Wonders, 55th SFS elite guard controller, positioned his emergency vehicle with lights on so he could alert and escort the medical staff to where the incident happened.   

Although the elite guard started the rescuing saving effort and then the fire department took over, it was medics from the 55th Medical Group who would round out this team effort. Staff Sgt. Logan Williams, 55th Healthcare Operations Squadron ambulance services technician, arrived at the scene with an automated external defibrillator and jump bag in hand.

Williams began to ask firefighters for a description of what interventions they performed on the individual. Once Williams was up to speed on what had transpired, he stepped right in with compressions of his own. Suddenly signs of life were apparent. After the last round of CPR, the individual had a pulse. The person was placed on a gurney and transported to the hospital for further evaluation.

“I just wanted to reiterate the great decision making by both security forces members and the fire department crew who did everything right prior to any ambulance showing up,” Williams said. “They were the backbone and driving force that helped our patient out the best.“