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McChord reservist provides aid to accident victims

First Lt. Frank Sevey, a Reservist at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., helped provide medical aid to twin sisters involved in a car incident on Fort Lewis on the morning of Aug. 21.  The lieutenant is a pilot with the 313th Airlift Squadron here. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Patrick Cabellon)

First Lt. Frank Sevey, a reservist at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., helped provide medical aid to twin sisters involved in a car incident on Fort Lewis on the morning of Aug. 21, 2009. The lieutenant is a pilot with the 313th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Patrick Cabellon)

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- First Lt. Frank Sevey was driving to work Aug. 21 when he found himself a first responder to an accident requiring him to give medical aid to a stranger.

It was a clear day on Fort Lewis when Lieutenant Sevey of the 313th Airlift Squadron glanced in his rearview mirror and saw a single-car accident.

"All I saw was a whole bunch of dust," he said. "It was a sharp left turn; they didn't turn."

The vehicle occupants, twins Lindsey and Lauren Dicus, both working as summer hires at McChord's 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, had driven straight ahead, down an embankment and slammed head on into a tree.

Lieutenant Sevey whipped his car around and quickly headed back to the scene of the incident. He jumped out of the car and went to the smashed vehicle.

Also on the scene was Staff Sgt. Brianna Haley of the 62nd Force Support Squadron. She was passing through Fort Lewis on her way to McChord and hopped out of her truck to provide aid to the injured.

"When I got there, a civilian was already on the phone with 911," Lieutenant Sevey said. "I quickly went to help the driver of the vehicle. The A-frame of the car was severely pushed in."

The driver, Lindsey, had a laceration starting at the top of her head and went down to cover her forehead and ended on the side of her head at her temple, said Lieutenant Sevey tracing along his own head with a finger.

"I helped Lindsey by talking to her to calm her down and make her more relaxed," said Sergeant Haley. "The cut on her head was bad. I had to hold her hand away from the cut because she was trying to feel it. I also held her down because she was trying to get out of the vehicle."

As the lieutenant and sergeant were giving aid to the twins, the car began to smoke. Lieutenant Sevey couldn't get to the ignition from the driver's side, so he went to the passenger side and discovered the other girl, Lauren, in the car.

The lieutenant hadn't noticed the a passenger because the top of the car had been compressed so far down into the vehicle that it had blocked his vision of the other girl.

"There are two victims," he yelled back to the person on the phone with 911.

Lauren, the passenger, had a concussion and she was snoring as if in a deep sleep.

"I noticed that her breathing seemed a bit labored so I supported her neck - in case she had a neck or back injury - to ease whatever the tension was so that she could breathe easier. It ended up working," Lieutenant Sevey said.

Lieutenant Sevey and Sergeant Haley continued to provide aid to the twin sisters until emergency personnel arrived on the scene.

Both Airmen said they acted accordingly because they had the knowledge and know-how which they had gained through the Air Force's self-aid and buddy care training.

Coming to the aid of others is nothing new to Lieutenant Sevey. About three months ago, he and his wife Lisa Sevey, a civilian operating room nurse at Madigan Army Medical Center, gave cardiopulmonary resuscitation to an elderly man suffering from a heart attack.

"My wife and I were just walking through the commissary and noticed a crowd of people standing around an elderly man on the ground. No one was doing anything," said Lieutenant Sevey. "My wife and I got to help the man with CPR and did so until medical personnel came."

As for the twins, both are on the road to recovery.

"Lauren had a bad concussion," said her father, Jim Dicus. He is the community services flight chief for the 62nd FSS.

Lauren spent most of the week after the accident in a daze. She is starting to come out of it, said Mr. Dicus.

"Now I know why there are some football players that have to sit out the next game or two," said Mr. Dicus. "On the other hand, Lindsey had some bad injuries. She was pinned in the car. She had a broken femur, a broken foot, broken hand, and lacerations on her head and face. She is going to have to go through extensive physical therapy."
To the Dicus family, Lieutenant Sevey and Sergeant Haley are heroes and they are very thankful for their actions.

"They are heroes in my mind. They took the time to help out someone whom they did not know," said Mr. Dicus. "They are good Samaritans. They stopped to help someone, they would have done it for anyone, but it just so happens to have been my daughters. They will be in our family's heart forever. Our family will forever be in debt to them. Team McChord is a wonderful group of people - a very caring group."