Armed Forces News

Quick action by a Washington Army National Guard combat medic and his comrades saved the life of a four-year-old girl who had stopped breathing on April 12. The incident occurred while Pvt. Gracie Hilinski, a and members of Headquarters Battery 2ndBattalion, 146thField Artillery Regiment, were at a truck stop in North Bend, Wash., while en route to the Yakima, Wash., training center from their home base at Olympia Armory.

Sgt. 1stClass Jesus Garcia, also a medic, noticed that the child, who was seated in the back of a passenger vehicle, was non-responsive and had no pulse. Hilinski and medic specialist Spec. Brandon Isaacson went to help the girl. They placed her on the ground, covered her with an Army Combat Uniform top, and began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In moments, the girl began to sense a pulse and saw that the girl was trying to breathe.

“I felt a radial pulse, and found it getting stronger,” Hilinski said. As her recovery continued, the child started crying.

In time, civilian paramedics arrived at the scene and assumed responsibility for the child.

“Hilinski’s actions were immediate and confident, showing all the aspects necessary in a competent and effective medic,” Isaacson said. “Jumping into a scene that terrifies many new EMTs [emergency medical technicians], her actions saved the life of a child.”