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NEWS | June 24, 2020

Cal National Guard Soldiers assist car wreck victim

By Staff Sgt. Katie Grandori California National Guard

LOS ANGELES - Soldiers of the California National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 185th Infantry Regiment, responded to a traffic accident and assisted an injured person June 2 while activated in the Los Angeles area to help law enforcement during civil disturbances.

One member of that group of Soldiers was Spc. Abdel Rahman Ali, 1-185th combat medic. He said they noticed the accident because of a brush fire on the side of the road. The team pulled their vehicles over, set up a perimeter, and began redirecting traffic.

The Soldiers pulled a fire extinguisher out of their vehicle and put out the brush fire. Several of the Cal Guard Soldiers had received firefighting training when assigned to fire missions in Northern California before the civil disturbance mission.

“The immediate actions to stop the grass fire prevented the fire from becoming larger and spreading to homes nearby,” said Adam VanGerpen, a captain with the Los Angeles Fire Department, who arrived on the scene after the Soldiers.

While the fire was being put out, Ali checked on the injured civilian. After administering medical care to the injured person, he stayed until paramedics arrived.

“As a combat medic, there is no greater honor than helping other people, and I do take pride in my work,” he said. “I’m proud to wear this uniform. I’m glad we were able to get there in time to help.”

While he was proud of his own actions, he wanted to highlight the rest of the team.

“Without their help, I would not have been able to do what I did,” said Ali.

VanGerpen contacted the unit following the incident to express his appreciation.

“The Soldiers assigned to HHC (Headquarters and Headquarters Company), 1-185th Infantry, represented their battalion well and were in keeping with the high standards of the U.S. military and our National Guard.”

After the arrival of the Los Angeles Fire Department, the 1-185th Soldiers continued with the operation, a task summarized well by Ali.

“We are here to protect and help people out. That is our mission as the National Guard.”