Two Navy explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians assigned to EOD Training and Evaluation Unit (TEU) 1 witnessed a vehicle crash and responded immediately by providing first aid to the driver and passenger and evaluating the vehicle for further hazards on Aug. 24 in Prescott, Arizona.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal First Class David Medwedeff and Explosive Ordnance Disposal First Class Kit Wingate were returning from small arms training when they witness a car ahead of them crash and flip over before coming to a stop. Medwedeff was the first on scene and established communications with the driver who was stuck in his seat while Wingate called 911. After assessing the car for immediate hazards, both Medwedeff and Wingate successfully removed the driver from the vehicle and conducted emergency response procedures by evaluating the man for any serious external injuries, bleeding or airway restrictions. After evaluating the man, they checked the ambulatory passenger for any injuries and the local police arrived shortly thereafter.
Wingate and Medwedeff helped move the driver and passenger to a relief position in the shade while continuing to monitor and reassess the status of both. An ambulance arrived on scene and transported both the driver and passenger to the hospital for further evaluation.
“I was surprised to see so many people initially standing around, not providing any help. I knew we had to pull him out in case something else happened with the car,” said Medwedeff. “As I was trying to assess him, Kit controlled the scene and directed people to help in other ways. Kit then assisted me in removing the individual and conducting a medical assessment until paramedics arrived."
All Navy EOD technicians receive comprehensive training in expeditionary combat skills, which includes combat first aid. Although the training is focused on providing immediate first aid to those wounded in combat, the skills learned throughout the training have applicability off the battlefield as well.
“Dave was able to reach the man in the vehicle first. I could tell by the tone of his voice that the man was in a somewhat stable condition,” said Wingate. “Due to my dive supervisor and EOD training, I knew that I should assess the entire situation for hazards before assisting Dave. I began to check the car for signs of a potential explosion, made sure 911 was called and employed the rest of the people on scene to direct traffic. Once I felt comfortable with the external situation, I proceeded to help Dave get the man out of the vehicle.”
Cmdr. David Blauser, commanding officer of EODTEU1, said he was proud of his Sailors for responding to the vehicle accident and glad that they were in the right place at the right time to provide assistance. “EOD technicians are well-trained to make great decisions under high stress,” said Blauser. “I am extremely proud of EOD1 Medwedeff and EOD1 Wingate for taking charge and responding to this incident in a safe and professional manner. Their calm approach to this situation, assessing hazards and working as a team are indicative of the high-caliber of Sailors in the Navy expeditionary combat community.”
U.S. Navy EOD is the world’s premier combat force for eliminating explosive threats so the Fleet and Nation can fight and win wherever, whenever and however it chooses.
EODTEU1 provides rigorous, relevant and realistic training to EOD and mobile diving and salvage forces to prepare them to execute their required operational capabilities in all projected operational environments to include locating, identifying, rendering safe, exploiting, recovering, and disposing of all explosive ordnance including chemical and nuclear weapons.
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