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Cpl. Tristan I. Hobson checks the trunk of a patrol car for supplies on Camp Foster March 28. Hobson saved a local community member’s life on Camp Kinser Feb. 18 with the aid of an automated external defibrillator. Hobson is a military policeman with Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Butler.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock

Marine saves victim with automated external defibrillator

30 Mar 2012 | Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock Marine Corps Installations Pacific

The life of a military policeman encompasses many different tasks. One might assume a typical day would include patrolling, issuing citations, interacting with service members, and making arrests.

What one may not assume is that MPs can be called for anything, at any time, sometimes even placing them first on scene at a medical emergency.

The morning of Feb. 18, Cpl. Tristan I. Hobson, a military policeman with Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, received one of those calls.

When Hobson received the call that an employee at the Camp Kinser Mess Hall, had collapsed and was not breathing, he immediately shouted to his partner, Lance Cpl. Leonard J. Kim, that it was time to go. The two geared up for the unknown and later found out that the key to the victim’s survival lay unused in the trunk of Hobson’s patrol car.

“When I arrived on scene, I could tell immediately the victim was not breathing,” said Hobson. “I began conducting (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), but it wasn’t working.”

That is when Hobson grabbed an automated external defibrillator.

An AED is a portable electronic device that diagnoses potentially life-threatening cardiopulmonary conditions in a patient and guides the first responder through the life-saving process.

Hobson and his partner connected the AED to the victim and began following the instructions.

“I can remember the machine telling me to continue chest compressions and then telling me to administer the shock,” said Hobson. “At that time, I advised everyone to back away and did what I was supposed to do. I used the shock.”

After repeating this process for several minutes, emergency technicians arrived. Hobson had given the fifth shock, which restored the victim’s heart rhythm and proved to be the shock that saved her life.

“MPs are fully capable of responding to a crisis, and we are thankful for their training,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jason M. Turgeon, a preventive medicine technician with Combat Logistics Regiment 37, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “It’s important for properly trained personnel to make sure the scene is safe and secure for the emergency medical providers.”

Military policemen conduct a variety of annual training scenarios refreshing their CPR and basic first-aid capabilities.

“Our MPs train for anything that could possibly be thrown at us,” said Staff Sgt. Thomas D. Sanford, a military policeman with the battalion. “Hobson and Kim showed great leadership skills by taking action and responding accordingly to the crisis.”

Hobson later found out from the victim’s brother, who was on the scene, that without his quick actions with the AED, she may not be here.

“When I heard the news that she was alive I was very relieved,” said Hobson. “I remember giving all that I had while performing CPR because I realized her life was at stake.”

Hobson responded to a similar situation a few months prior. These two incidents have proven this piece of equipment is vital for responding to life-threatening situations, according to Hobson.