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Off-duty Airman aids Ukrainian cyclist after vehicle accident

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Anthony Plyler
  • 52nd FW Public Affairs

A U.S. Air Force Airman stationed at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany, provided care to a Ukrainian woman who was struck by a vehicle while riding her bicycle Aug. 14 in Heinsburg, Germany.

Senior Airman Jaclyn Pearsall, 852nd Medical Squadron flight and operational medical technician, was at a bus stop waiting for her children when the accident occurred.

“I heard the collision of the vehicle and then I saw the bicycle laying on the ground without its rider,” said Pearsall. “My husband and I started walking toward the scene but when I heard the woman in pain, I started running.”

Pearsall immediately noticed the woman suffered what appeared to be a broken leg and ankle. After discovering blood trickling down her face, she quickly checked the victim’s scalp to determine the severity of the wounds.

“Obviously as a medic, we're extremely proud of Senior Airman Pearsall for being true to her community by aiding support during an accident,” said Lt. Col. Phillip Pope, 852nd Medical Squadron commander. “We coach our teammates to take action and trust their training – that's exactly what she did.”

As she continued to evaluate the injuries, another bystander arrived with an emergency kit. Pearsall removed gauze from the kit and applied it with light pressure on the head wounds to stop the bleeding.

“During my care, I quickly realized the woman did not speak English and only spoke very limited German,” said Pearsall. “With the help of the bystander, I explained to the woman that I was a medic and would stay by her side until the ambulance arrived.” 

Pearsall was careful not to move the individual in case of spinal injuries, and she continued talking throughout to ensure the woman remained conscious. Once the ambulance arrived Pearsall notified the  emergency services individuals of the  language barrier between the Ukranian cyclist and the German paramedics.

“The unique aspect here is that Senior Airman Pearsall had only been in Germany six weeks (at the time of the accident),” said Pope. “When most would have been intimidated to assert themselves in a foreign country, she was not. Her potential to make a positive impact on Saber Nation has manifested, and we are all better for it.”

For her actions that day, Pearsall was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal and her command has nominated her for the Trusted Care Hero award, which recognizes medical personnel, both Airmen and civilians, who embody the medical service’s slogan, Trusted Care, Anywhere.

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