Marine Corps Base Quantico --
For five Navy corpsmen, it started out as a regular day, but it nearly took a turn for the worse after a Quantico civilian’s car got stuck on the railroad tracks on Flemming Street outside of the Officer Candidates School’s John H. Bradley Clinic. As he was exiting the car, something caused him to slip and he hit his head hard on the railroad tracks, causing a head injury and severe bleeding.
At the moment of the incident the man’s fate lie in the hands of two people passing by—a man and a woman, with only one thing keeping him from bleeding out—a beanie from one of their heads, placed securely on the injury.
With no immediate medical aid in sight and the Bradley Clinic not providing emergency care, the man’s injury could have worsened had Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman Petty Officer 3rd Class David Smith not attacked the situation head on.
With Smith immediately recognizing the situation from the window of the clinic’s break room, he grabbed four of his fellow corpsmen to go outside and help.
The five corpsmen providing aid to the civilian were Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Xavier Cole, Hospital Corpsman Petty Officer 3rd Class Kenneth Simmons, Hospitalman Xavier Chatman, Hospital Corpsman Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeremy Davis and Smith.
The corpsmen rushed to the scene to offer some of the field medical training they had received to aid the victim. According to Navy recruiting, hospital corpsmen are highly respected individuals, known for their adept medical skills under pressure when aiding in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury.
When called upon, corpsmen conduct an array of duties dependent on their specialties. They can perform physicals and preventative care, maintain patient treatment records, administer medications and injections, perform clinical tests and emergency medical or dental treatment to sailors or Marines, from the base to the battlefield.
According to Davis, as they arrived on the scene, they assessed the situation and concluded that the bystanders had done a sufficient job of applying pressure to the man’s head, while keeping it elevated on the woman’s lap. The cupping of the man’s head with the beanie prevented the gash from further hemorrhaging. The corpsmen assessed the man’s mental recognition and wounds while they all waited for Quantico Fire and Emergency Services (QF&ES) to arrive on scene.
As the corpsmen awaited help from the fire department, they attempted to remove the man’s car from the railroad tracks.
Simmons described the car as parallel to the tracks and slightly tilted off the ground.
When reflecting on the day these corpsmen did not expect medals or fame, it was simply just another day in which they could keep another individual safe.