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NEWS | Oct. 14, 2022

U.S. Service Members Provide Life-saving Care Near Zambales during KAMANDAG

By 1st Lt. Oscar Castro 3rd Marine Division

MANILA, Philippines -- U.S. Marines and Sailors approached the scene of a traffic accident and provided life-saving medical aid to three Filipino civilians struck by an automobile, Oct. 7, 2022 near Zambales, Philippines.

These U.S. service members were driving on the way to Subic Bay when they discovered the accident, finding police but no emergency medical personnel present.

“The road was blocked, but once we filtered through the traffic, we saw the casualties and that no action was being taken, so we got out and rendered aid,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Angelo Alvarez, III Marine Expeditionary Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Neurological (CBRN) Officer. “We had the medical personnel and the Marine Corps trains us in basic combat lifesaving, so we applied our training to the best of our abilities.”

Among the U.S. personnel that rendered aid were U.S. Navy Lt. Katelyn Morton, a medical officer and emergency trauma nurse with 3rd Medical Battalion, and two U.S. Navy Corpsmen, Hospitalman 3rd Class Brianna Gausden and Hospitalman Jason Toro, alongside two additional U.S. Marines in the vehicle. Together, they triaged the injured and provided on-site medical care until emergency medical personnel arrived.

“I am an emergency trauma nurse by trade and fell back on my training. I made an assessment on all three,” Morton said. “The first casualty was stable, second was nonresponsive to any of our treatment, and the third was the one I felt was urgent and needed assistance in order to survive.”

Recognizing that each of the injured civilians were suffering from various types of trauma, the U.S. personnel reacted rapidly in conducting combat lifesaving treatment to stop bleeding and assess any life-threatening injuries in the casualties.

“We did everything we could in that situation to help as many people as possible. I was very proud of my Corpsmen and Marines. They responded how I would want them to,” said Lt. Katelyn Morton.

The U.S. Marines and Sailors were in the Philippines participating in KAMANDAG 6, an annual bilateral exercise between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. military designed to strengthen interoperability, capabilities, trust, and cooperation built over decades of shared experiences.

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