Team Receives Award for Staying Cool Under Pressure, Saving Heat Stroke Victim

Days after receiving heat stress training, a team of four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employees put what they learned into action and saved a life. With a heat stress fact sheet and OSHA quick card still freshly affixed to the wall of their work area, the team noticed a driver exhibiting signs of heat stroke after changing a flat tire in the debris dump at the Wilkerson landfill in Cameron Parish in southwest Louisiana. They immediately responded, providing fluids, wet paper towels, and ice, and asking about medications and medical conditions. Responding medical personnel said that without the team's actions, the driver would have perished.

In recognition of their swift response, the Louisiana Recovery Field Office in New Orleans awarded the team the Department of Army Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service, an honor the field office says is the equivalent of the Department of Defense's Humanitarian Service Medal used to recognize military members for life and property saving actions.

Award recipients, working in Cameron Parish on recovery efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, were:

  • Justin Bult, a Lake Charles Corps contract recovery employee
  • Debra Christie, a Tulsa natural resources specialist and mission volunteer
  • Robert McKechnie, a Detroit lock and dam mechanic and mission volunteer
  • Yvett Young, a Sweet Lake Corps contract recovery employee.

After being treated by on-scene and hospital medical teams, the driver made a complete recovery and was released to go back to work two days later.

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