MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT --
Drill instructors and military policeman saved the life of a recruit aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Feb. 4.
Staff Sgt. Acosta, a senior drill instructor with Oscar Company, awoke to a surprise knocking at her door and was told that a recruit was unresponsive.
“I ran out to see the recruit lying between the foot locker and the racks. I saw that she was still breathing so I immediately ran back and called the duty and when I returned that’s when her breathing stopped,” said Acosta. “I straightaway began resuscitation procedures until first responders arrived.”
In 1956, doctors James Elam and Peter Safar invented mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and a year later the United States military adopted it and has used it ever since as a go to a staple lifesaving technique.
“A few cycles ago another drill instructor actually found an unresponsive recruit and had to call 911 and get her stabilized by the time emergency services arrived,” said Captain Jennie Pearson, the Series Commander for Oscar Company. “It’s just great that we have the experience here and that nothing terrible happened.”
Marine Drill Instructors have specific duties and responsibilities when it comes to training recruits they teach recruits of the history of the Marine Corps and their traditions, they instruct in rifle manual and close order drill, but most importantly they instill discipline.
As Acosta administered lifesaving techniques to the recruit, police officers Peter Bunting and Sean Sullivan arrived on scene and began their own resuscitation procedures.
“I arrived first on scene and as I turned the corner I observed the senior drill instructor giving chest compressions to the downed recruit,” said Bunting. “I couldn’t find a pulse so I radioed in asking Sullivan to bring a defibrillator and I began my own chest compressions.”
Military police officers have their own training section where they go through various classes that offer hands on experience, so that they are always ready for anything that may happen when they respond to calls.
“We’ve probably seen it all when it comes to here and other places we’ve worked,” said Sullivan. “I done CPR a few times but this is actually the first that I’ve had to use an actual defibrillator. We’re trained in high-stress situations like this so we don’t really have time to second guess ourselves or get nervous.”
After Sullivan and Bunting began treatment with the Defibrillator and re-established normal breathing patterns, the recruit was life flighted to a hospital in Charleston, where she is currently recovering.
“The way the Drill Instructors and first responders handled the situation and their professionalism and just Staff Sgt. Acosta’s awareness to begin CPR,” said Pearson. “It really makes me proud knowing that I can trust these drill instructors to take care of the recruits who are entrusted in their care.”