Army members recognized for life-saving efforts at 2018 Army Run
Article / March 8, 2019 / Project number: 19-0055
By Steven Fouchard, Army Public Affairs
Ottawa, Ontario — Canadian Army personnel are among a group of first responders being honoured for their part in saving a life at the 2018 Canada Army Run.
Master Corporal Marc Mtanos, Master Corporal Kyle Crego – both members of the Governor General’s Foot Guards – and Master Corporal Benoit Bolduc, a Medical Technician trainer, were saluted along with several others at a March 8, 2019 luncheon hosted by Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Commander Canadian Army.
Also honoured were Hesham Ads, Jason Paul, Polina Tarasenko and Neally Thompson.
LGen Lanthier thanked all the volunteers, “for their quick, life-saving actions” and applauded the work of St John Ambulance (SJA) Canada and the Canadian Ski patrol. Both organizations provided volunteer first-responders to the Run.
“We are proud to partner with them and have them on site at every Canada Army Run,” added LGen Lanthier.
A participant in the run, which took place in Ottawa on September 23, 2018, collapsed near the finish line, prompting swift action from the honorees, who are all volunteers with SJA.
He remained unconscious before being taken to hospital, but alive, thanks in large part to the volunteers, who treated the man until paramedics arrived.
The man recovered and returned home to his family shortly after receiving treatment in hospital.
MCpl Mtanos was posted approximately 75 metres from the finish line and could see other SJA volunteers were treating a runner.
“As people were finishing the run they were saying, ‘Hey, we need medics over there,’” he recalled. “So I just took off running toward them.”
As he arrived on the scene, a bystander was keeping the man’s head immobile in case there was a spinal injury. Another responder was already checking for a pulse and MCpl Mtanos knelt down to assist.
Mr. Paul, an Ottawa firefighter, was next on the scene, bringing a stretcher and defibrillator, followed by MCpl Bolduc, a military medic.
“I told MCpl Bolduc to take over because I knew the experience he had,” said MCpl Mtanos. “I got up and started radioing for paramedics. At that point I started taking notes and once they arrived I helped give oxygen and helped with whatever else they needed.”
MCpl Crego said he took note as other SJA volunteers began to respond.
“I got a better position on the curb so I could look down further and I saw a bunch of yellow vests and I saw one of our nurses run by.”
He joined them to offer assistance and was asked to set up a bag valve mask to feed oxygen to the man.
“Then I took a step back to clear the way for the paramedics,” he said. Once they had arrived, MCpl Crego assisted them in monitoring the patient’s blood pressure.
“I put the blood pressure cuff on the gentleman and I just helped relay information between the paramedic at his feet and the paramedic at his head who was monitoring for vital signs.”
MCpl Crego added that it is not the norm for SJA volunteers to receive updates on the condition of those they assist, so he was pleased to hear later in the day that the outcome had been positive.
Both men expressed appreciation for the recognition while also emphasizing it is not the motivation behind their involvement with SJA.
“We don’t do things for recognition,” said MCpl Mtanos, “but it’s nice to be thanked.”
“It’s not expected by any means,” MCpl Crego added. “I’ve been connected to the military since I was 18 so, to me whenever family that you’re connected to recognizes a good deed, it’s always nice.”
Lisa Paul, Director of Learning, Operations and Community Services for the Ottawa region SJA, also said the salute from the Army is appreciated.
“We’ll be recognizing them internally but then, when there is external recognition, it’s so significant for these volunteers that are out there giving their all to save lives.”
Ms. Paul noted that there are about 20 current and former military members among SJA’s 200 Ottawa area volunteers. The organization is always looking for more, she added, and those with military experience are very welcome.
“We require a standard level of first aid and CPR [Cardiopulmonary resuscitation] ,” she explained. “And then we upgrade people to the medical first response (MFR) level. But our military volunteers are coming in at that MFR level and we’ll get them straight into active duty. And often times we see those folks excelling in leadership roles.”
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