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442 FSS Airman remembers training, saves life

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --

Those who’ve gone through Air Force Basic Military Training may remember their CPR and first aid training, but most have never had to use it. For Senior Airman Mark Stone, this training was put to use much quicker than expected.

            Stone, a fitness journeyman with the 442d Force Support Squadron here, happened to be at the right place at the right time November 07, 2020. Stone, also the director of game operations for athletics at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo., proved that training can be put to use in and out of uniform.

            While working concessions at a home soccer game, Stone was alerted by an employee that a student was choking.

“As soon as he called for me, I ran over there and immediately started the Heimlich,” said Stone.

Luckily, Stone had just graduated technical school and BMT a few months prior, where he was taught the Heimlich maneuver and other first aid training

“After I saw he was choking and couldn’t breathe, I did 5 abdominal thrusts and then 5 back blows for about 3-4 sets then he started vomiting, which was a good sign,” said Stone. “I continued to do it for about two more sets then a big piece of hot dog came out and freed up his airway, and he started breathing.”

This was the first time Stone has ever had to use the maneuver. Luckily his training taught him well and without hesitation, he reacted and helped save a life.

“He was blue, and couldn't talk or breathe at all, it was kind of scary but the Air Force teaches you, through training, to stay calm and have confidence in your training,” said Stone. “It was a rewarding experience. I’m just glad I was there at the time to help him out and hopefully save his life.”

Stone advises all Airmen to pay close attention when taking these training courses.

“It is very important to give your 100-percent focus during training,” said Stone. “Take the training seriously, because you never know when you may actually need it to help save someone’s life.”