131st Missouri Air Guardsman aids victim of highway accident.
By Cpl. Jacqueline Courtney, Special to the 131st
/ Published June 07, 2012
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- A member of the 131st Bomb Wing was one of the first to arrive on the scene of an accident that occurred along U.S. 54 on May 26, playing an important part in providing care and safety to the crash victim while waiting for medical support to arrive.
Senior Airman Joshua Boze, an Eldon resident and emergency management specialist with the 131st Bomb Wing Civil Engineer Squadron, had just returned to Missouri after completing one week of annual training at Tyndall Air Force Base in Fla., and was on his way home when he came across a one-vehicle accident in the middle of the road.
"I was coming over the hill and all I saw was a pickup truck caught on fire sitting in the middle of the road," said Boze. "There was one other bystander who had already stopped and pulled the guy out of the truck, so together we continued to pull him into a ditch."
As other passersby continued to stop Boze instructed one of them to move his car so that it would create a barrier around them while he continued providing care to the victim.
"He had his car placed between the burning vehicle to shield the man and those who were first on the scene," explained Sgt. Maj. Joyce Hart, an information systems chief at Missouri Air National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, who also happened to stop after passing the
accident. "He immediately evaluated the man's condition and began treatment. He stabilized him until the ambulance arrived."
While waiting, Boze was able to provide aid using an individual first aid kit he carried in his car as part of the gear he took with him to training.
"It took about 10 minutes for the first deputy to arrive, and around 15 minutes for the Cole County ambulance and fire department to," said Boze. "I had someone else secure his head to prevent further injury as I worked on monitoring vitals, bandaging wounds and maintaining the guy's level of consciousness."
Once the ambulance arrived Boze was able to give the medics a quick run down including vitals, medications the victim had with him, and a description of what the inside of the truck looked like before going up in flames. According to Boze, noting what the inside of a vehicle looks like after an accident is important so that doctors can check for any possible unseen injuries a victim might have sustained during a wreck.
"He provided them with an outstanding evaluation of his condition which allowed emergency personnel to immediately react," said Hart. "He continued to assist until the ambulance departed."
Boze credits his many years of fire and medical experience for his ability to react quickly. In addition to his Guard duties, Boze also works for Osage Beach Fire Department and Miller County Ambulance.
"I started out as a volunteer when I was 16, and have 15 years of fire service experience overall," stated Boze.
Just shortly before arriving to the accident Boze had stopped to help another couple stranded on the side of the road. He said that if he hadn't stopped to help them, he probably would've missed the accident.
"Part of being in the fire and emergency medical service is knowing that it's your duty and responsibility to help," explained Boze. "When you do it whole heartedly, it becomes a part of you. It's just what I do."