KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – New Mexico National Guard Capt. Adrian Mateos was having lunch in Kearny, New Jersey, Oct. 14 when he noticed a woman faint and fall to the ground because of a seizure.
Mateos, who was in New Jersey supporting the Operations Allies Welcome mission as a member of the New Mexico Air National Guard’s 150th Medical Group, is a licensed emergency medical technician with extensive experience in medical emergency services. Having a child with epilepsy, he immediately knew what to do.
First, he assessed the woman. Noticing she still had food in her mouth, he positioned her on her side to allow it to fall out and clear her airway. He then told staff to call 911 while he asked her companions about her medical history.
Mateos said mentally going through and applying checklists allowed him to make rational decisions, which kept her safe as he timed and assisted her through several seizures while waiting for the Kearny Fire Department to arrive.
“I wish to acknowledge the professionalism of Capt. William Crockett and the Kearny Fire Department team,” said Mateos. “While not an exercise, the event highlighted the capacity of Guardsmen to work jointly with these high-caliber first responder agencies when managing a domestic operation response or a single event.”
When they arrived, Mateos passed all relevant information to Fire Department personnel and comforted the woman by speaking with her in Spanish.
“Adrian identified himself and immediately demonstrated his high level of competency and professionalism in transferring of pertinent information, bedside manner with the patient, and willingness to remain and assist in the care of the patient and as a translator,” Crockett said.
“On behalf of my crew,” he said, “I wanted to extend our most sincere gratitude for Adrian’s selfless assistance to the patient, our crew, and the entire community of the Town of Kearny, New Jersey.”
Mateos said the National Guard trains for such emergencies.
“Guardsmen contribute to their community and military operations through their unique ability of leveraging experience, training and education we attain from coexisting in both environments. My contribution on that event exemplified what many other Guardsmen would have done.”