Chief Aviation Boatswains Mate (Handling) Shane Ammons and NASWF Patrolman Douglas Waller were off-duty when they helped save the life of a man unconscious in a truck.
MILTON — For many service members, hanging up the uniform at the end of a shift signifies the end of the workday and the beginning of some much needed downtime. Two NAS Whiting Field (NASWF) employees recently found out that is not always the case.
On Oct. 30, Chief Aviation Boatswains Mate (Handling) Shane Ammons and NASWF Patrolman Douglas Waller, retired US Navy, were enjoying an evening with fellow members of the 210th Branch Fleet Reserve Association in Milton when they heard someone yell.
“Does anyone know CPR?” a woman called as she pushed through the front door. Ammons and Waller sprang into action and rushed to help.
“My initial reaction was fear, but I literally jumped out of my flip-flops to help,” said Ammons.
Ammons was pointed outside to a truck where he saw a man unconscious in the driver’s seat. The man was unresponsive and “blue in the face,” he said.
Ammons and Waller worked as a team alternating between giving chest compressions and rescue breathing until paramedics arrived. After nearly five minutes and three cycles, they were able to detect a pulse and soon saw visible signs of breathing. Once on scene, paramedics informed them the individual had suffered a heart attack and that their actions saved his life that day.
“We took an oath to serve. We train for this sort of thing and it feels good that I got to put the training to use and save a life that day,” Waller said.
Ammons previously served as an emergency medical technician (EMT) before joining the Navy.
“I take training very seriously,” said Ammons. “We never expect things like this to happen, but we train like it’s the real thing.”
When asked if he felt like a hero that day, Ammons said, “I try not to think about it too much. I really don’t know what a hero feels like. I’m just proud that we saved his life.”