An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Archives

NEWS | April 25, 2020

Soldiers save a life, serve their community in alternate role during coronavirus response

By Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer, Colorado National Guard Public Affairs CONG, TAG

The Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 changed the way of life for most people worldwide. For members of the Colorado National Guard, activated by Gov. Jared Polis to assist with incident response efforts, their skills have been tested beyond their military assignments and training. 

For many of those CONG members, doing their part to help Coloradans is one of the main reasons they signed up to serve in the National Guard.  However, the military job they signed up for is not necessarily the job that they have been asked to do.

U.S. Army Spc. Jo England, communication specialist, and Pfc. Harold Taylor, signal support systems specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, typically perform duties related to radio communications at their home unit in Colorado Springs.

Now, assigned to Joint Task Force Shelter Support, they are supporting the City and County of Denver, by working at the Denver Rescue Mission.  They care for those experiencing homelessness during COVID-19 by serving food and helping staff maintain the facility.

Nearly 300 Colorado National Guard members are also assisting in this effort.

While England and Taylor served the lunchtime meal April 14, one of the guests began to choke.

“I could see the guest was having a tough time breathing, when suddenly the man made the universal choking sign of holding his hands around his neck,” Taylor said. “So I quickly turned the man around and proceeded to give him the Heimlich maneuver, but I wasn’t able to dislodge the food.”

England, serving food alongside Taylor, noticed what was happening and moved to assist her teammate. 

Realizing the Heimlich maneuver wasn’t working, England attempted another tactic, smacking his upper back to clear the blockage.

“I’ve seen healthcare workers at my full-time job do it before, and I’m CPR certified,” she said. “So I knew where to hit him in order for it to have the most impact and dislodge the food.”

England’s training worked, and the piece of broccoli dislodged, saving the man’s life. 

After this incident, England and Taylor returned to their jobs serving the guests of the Mission and continuing business as usual. 

England said she thought about the event afterward and how, at the time, it didn’t seem like a big deal.

“When I got back to the hotel I was thinking, he was really in trouble,” she said. “I was proud that I could help him and that I was there at the right time.”

”I am so very proud of these Soldiers for going above and beyond their duties to save the life of an individual experiencing homelessness in our city,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. “They are living examples of the selfless dedication of the men and women serving in our Colorado National Guard.”

England, Taylor, and the rest of the activated CONG members have had to adapt to the unknown. As citizen warriors, they’ve pledged to be there for the community, serving in any capacity needed. As Guard members, they represent and reflect the CONG’s 160-year tradition: “Always Ready.  Always There.”

December 2022 (2)
November 2022 (5)
October 2022 (2)
September 2022 (7)
August 2022 (5)
July 2022 (3)
June 2022 (7)
May 2022 (3)
April 2022 (4)
March 2022 (3)
February 2022 (4)
January 2022 (5)
December 2021 (7)
November 2021 (3)
October 2021 (2)
September 2021 (2)
August 2021 (6)
July 2021 (4)
June 2021 (1)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (5)
March 2021 (5)
February 2021 (2)
January 2021 (3)
December 2020 (3)
November 2020 (7)
October 2020 (6)
September 2020 (6)
August 2020 (8)
July 2020 (9)
June 2020 (7)
May 2020 (10)
April 2020 (9)
March 2020 (2)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (6)
November 2019 (2)
October 2019 (8)
September 2019 (4)
August 2019 (7)
July 2019 (5)
June 2019 (2)
May 2019 (6)
April 2019 (9)
March 2019 (2)
February 2019 (2)
January 2019 (3)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (6)
October 2018 (2)
September 2018 (3)
August 2018 (9)
July 2018 (1)
June 2018 (1)
May 2018 (1)
April 2018 (5)
October 2017 (1)
May 2017 (1)
April 2017 (2)
March 2017 (2)
February 2017 (3)
January 2017 (1)
November 2016 (1)
October 2016 (2)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
May 2016 (2)
April 2016 (3)
March 2016 (1)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (1)
December 2015 (1)
November 2015 (3)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (2)
August 2015 (1)
July 2015 (1)
June 2015 (2)
May 2015 (3)
March 2015 (1)
February 2015 (1)
October 2014 (1)
September 2014 (1)
June 2014 (1)
April 2014 (1)
May 2013 (1)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (8)
February 2013 (9)
January 2013 (7)
November 2012 (1)
April 2012 (2)
January 2012 (1)
March 2010 (1)