Schriever members display true wingman meaning
By Brian Hagberg, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 05, 2015
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- While most of the base was celebrating Wingman Day with training sessions or team building activities, some Team Schriever members had to put those concepts into practice to aid a co-worker April 22.
Lori, a U.S. Air Force Warfare Center civilian, felt something wasn't right and walked to the desk of co-worker Larry Olsen. Just as she reached his desk, Lori collapsed and that's when Olsen and Curt Taylor, whose desk is in the same office, sprang into action.
"I was just sitting at my desk and felt a little odd," Lori said. "I saw a doorway open, walked over there and I said, 'Larry.' That's the last thing I remember before waking up in an ambulance."
Olsen said just after Lori arrived at his desk, she went into convulsions, fell on the floor and stopped breathing. The training he had received both as a former police officer, and during self-aid buddy care sessions on base, spurred his actions once he saw Lori needed aid.
"Training just takes over," Olsen said. "If you pay attention and do it like you're taught, it takes over."
Once others in the office realized what was happening, they called 911 and made preparations to get medical personnel access to the office.
Meanwhile, Olsen and Taylor continued to work to get Lori's airway open while waiting for emergency services to arrive. At one point, Lori's lips and face had began to turn blue and the gravity of the situation became obvious.
"Larry and Curt were doing everything they possibly could to get her mouth open because her jaw was clenched," said Tony Jarrell. "The biggest thing was saving her. We were going to do anything and everything we could to make sure she was OK."
Olsen said the incident demonstrates the importance of taking SABC training seriously because you never know when you might need to use it in a real world situation.
"If you blow it off when you're talking about it in training, you may not have the recall you need when you really need it," Olsen said. "There's a reason we do things in training, take it seriously."
Through their efforts, Olsen and Taylor were able to get Lori's airway open and she started breathing regularly. Emergency personnel arrived and were able to get her in a sitting position, but it was clear a trip to the emergency room was necessary.
"The emergency personnel came and were able to get her to sit up, but she had no clue where she was and didn't recognize anyone," Jarrell said.
Jarrell said because Lori was so disoriented, he and his wife, Melissa, decided to follow the ambulance to the hospital and stay with her until they knew she was alright.
"[We] wanted to go and make sure she was OK once she was in the hospital," Melissa said. "If she wasn't, there would have been a different course of action."
The Jarrell's provided additional support by transporting one of Lori's relatives back to the base in order to gather Lori's personal effects and vehicle.
Lori said she didn't think simply saying "thank you" is enough to show those individuals how grateful she is for the actions they took.
"These individuals, they don't want recognition," Lori said. "But their actions resulted, I think, in saving my life. Had they not been there, who knows what would have happened."
The selfless actions taken, not only to save Lori's life, but also to stay with her throughout the ordeal, certainly exemplify what it means to be a Wingman.
"It was the Wingman concept all around," Lori said. "They were there. Had they not been there, I really don't know if I would've made it. A Wingman, in the simplest form, is to be there for your fellow human being."
(Editor's note: At Lori's request, the 50th Space Wing Public Affairs staff removed any mention of her last name in the story)