Little Girl Lives Due To Soldier’s Quick Actions

April 16, 2009

With our country at war on two fronts, we often hear about valorous actions that have occurred during a particular battle. Or, like my previous story, we hear about things our Troops do to help those less fortunate than us, in the countries they’re serving in. When our Troops are at home, it’s not often that we hear about their accomplishments or things that they do, that are considered extraordinary or above and beyond the call of duty. Those types of things happen much more often then what we even realize, often because our Troops don’t feel that they need recognition or acclaim for the things that they do, that to us, might seem heroic. These are just the types of things, however, that the American public does need to know about. We as Americans should be aware of the courage and bravery of our Troops, both on and off of the battlefield.

General George W. Casey Jr. presents an Army Commendation Medal to Pfc. Seth Manderscheid during a ceremony Tuesday at Carey Theater.

General George W. Casey Jr. presents an Army Commendation Medal to Pfc. Seth Manderscheid during a ceremony Tuesday at Carey Theater.

Because of the actions of one young Soldier at Fort Lewis, Washington, a 7 year old girl is alive today. Had it not been for his quick reaction to things that unfolded around him, the little girl is alive today. It was a typical March afternoon as PFC Seth Manderscheid of 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division drove down the streets of Lacey, Washington. Ahead of him, he noticed the familiar site of a school bus pulled over at the side of the road with it’s red warning lights flashing and stop sign out, indicating that children were either getting on or off of the bus. Something that each of us probably see every day. In all states, drivers are to stop to allow for the children to safely cross streets as they board or get off of the bus at their stops. As is normal for children, they jumped from the bus and made their way across the street, in front of the bus.

Suddenly, PFC Manderscheid noticed the car in front of him pulling out and accelerating to pass the bus. Manderscheid watched as the driver, whom he estimated at going approximately 30 MPH, struck a young girl, tossing her body into the air. She landed about 30 feet from where the car struck her. Having just recently earning his Combat Lifesaver Badge, PFC Manderscheid quickly got into action, jumping from his car and running to the unconscious child lying in the roadway.

“I checked for a pulse,” Manderscheid said. “There was no pulse. I looked to see if her chest was rising up and down. That wasn’t happening either. So I did CPR. I was just reacting, using what I’ve been taught.”1

While PFC Manderscheid performed CPR on the young girl, someone else called 911 and summoned paramedics. Others calmed the young girls mother, who was understandably hysterical and keeping her back while Manderscheid continued CPR on her daughter, for about 5 minutes, until the paramedics arrived. I don’t know how many of our readers have had to perform CPR for real, but I have and I can tell you that 5 minutes seems like an eternity, when you’re trying to save someone’s life. When Paramedic Michael Theriault arrived, he found the young girl breathing with Manderscheid keeping her calm. The Emergency Medical Crew took over for Manderscheid.

“Seth assisted me with getting the child on a back board and getting her into the ambulance,” Theriault said. “The child only has a mild concussion with two broken ribs. Needless to say, that if it were not for the actions of Seth Manderscheid, the child would not have survived.”2

Manderscheid didn’t think a whole lot about what had happened. After the ambulance drove off towards the hospital with the young girl inside, Manderscheid proceeded to his home, where he told his wife what had happened. Imagine his surprise and probably a bit of suspicion when he was told on April Fool’s Day (of all days) that he would be receiving the Army Commendation Medal for his actions that day. PFC Manderscheid was told that Army Chief of Staff General George Casey would be coming to Fort Lewis and would be pinning on his medal. On April 7th, General Casey awarded PFC Manderscheid with the Army Commendation Medal.

“It’s pretty cool,” Manderscheid said. “Pretty exciting.”

“Seth is a hero,” said Theriault. “I believe that you have one unbelievable Soldier.”3

I couldn’t agree more. So often in situations like this, people just pretend that they don’t what happened, or just ignore what they saw. PFC Manderscheid could have done just that, but instead chose to react to the situation he saw unfolding in front of him and thus saved the life of a young girl. I’m sure that this little girls parents are eternally grateful to the American Hero who saved their daughters life.

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One Response to “Little Girl Lives Due To Soldier’s Quick Actions”

  1. Ft. Lewis Soldier Awarded for saving girl’s life « Soldiers Angels Washington on April 17th, 2009 8:06 am

    [...] Little Girl Lives Due To Soldier’s Quick Actions [...]

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