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First responders pick up on a close call

By Airman 1st Class Bridgitte Taylor 316th Public Affairs

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The Fourth of July is a holiday that most Americans spend celebrating the nation’s independence with family, friends and fireworks.

However, first responders on duty from the 316th Medical Group and the 316th Civil Engineer Squadron on Joint Base Andrews are always there to protect and defend. In fact, they serve more than 30,000 individuals who live and work on JBA daily.

Sharon Bailey and her mother, Virginia, were at home spending time together when she noticed her mother was acting differently throughout the day. 

Sharon asked Virginia how she was feeling multiple times, but nevertheless received the same answer: “I’m fine.”

“A little bit after 9 p.m., Mom decided she wanted to go to another room, but ended up in the bathroom,” said Sharon. “I usually check on her if she’s gone too long or not feeling well and I found her on my bathroom floor unresponsive.”

A brief moment of silence passed as Sharon recollected the events that occurred that day. 

“I ended up calling the Emergent Care Center and before I got off the phone, they arrived,” said Sharon. “[Medics] Ms. Michaela Williamson and Airman 1st Class Jasmine East were in the bathroom talking to my mother and asking her name, but my mother was still unresponsive.” 

While the medics were in the bathroom assisting Virginia, Sharon said the firefighters in attendance aided her to calm down and assess the situation. 

“In a matter of minutes, the firefighters got her off the floor, put her on a gurney and took her outside,” said Sharon. “They managed to get me into the ambulance, then Ms. Williamson and East continued to evaluate my mother.”

Sharon said they were taken to Southern Maryland Hospital where they were able to revive her mother and get her to talk again. 

Amidst the chaotic situation, Sharon noticed that the coordination between the medic team and firefighters was seamless.

“It was complete mayhem,” said Sharon, as a smile appeared. “But because of the team of the ECC and firefighters working together in unison, it alleviated my stressors of thinking the worst. I knew the care was going to be top-notch.” 

Although Sharon perceived the scene as hectic, the firefighters on the scene came prepared to save a life. 

“We arrived just behind the medics, then went into the building right behind them,” said Donald Simms, 316th CES lead firefighter. “We realized the situation was dire so medics moved out of the way so we could get to the patient. Once we loaded her into the ambulance, medics started working on her vitals.”

Simms went on to explain the harmonious relationship between the firefighters and ECC team during that call. 

“The call went really smooth. There are different calls where things get jumbled up because they’ll send new crews out on an EMS unit that we’re not accustomed to, so we don’t really know the way they do things,” said Simms. “With the crew they had that night, there were zero issues. It was a good response and things were done in a timely fashion.”

Due to the work ethic of the firefighters and medic team, Bailey was able to get the urgent care she needed. Luckily, she is now almost fully recovered and spending time with her daughter again. 

“She’s stable now,” Sharon said with a grin. “She’s receiving home care, with my assistance as well.”

Sharon continued to express how grateful she is to the first responders who helped her and her mother on Independence Day. 

“Well done, good and faithful servants of our military community and our whole community, period,” said Sharon as she addressed the firefighters and medic team. “I thank you from the bottom of my heart that my mother has another chance. Keep up the good work!”