Sgt. 1st Class Jason Allabaugh recently relied on his Missouri National Guard training and provided some potentially life-saving first aid to a fellow citizen after a vehicular accident on U.S. Highway 63 near Jefferson City.
(Photo by Matthew J. Wilson)
By Matthew J. Wilson
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri National Guardsmen live by the motto of "always ready, always there" to serve the people of this nation.
A shining example of that full-time commitment can be found in Sgt. 1st Class Jason Allabaugh, who recently provided some potentially life-saving first aid to a fellow citizen after a vehicular accident on U.S. Highway 63.
Allabaugh, a combat medic who lives and works in Jefferson City as a member of the 7th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, was driving home from his daughter's softball game in Columbia, when he spotted a north bound SUV run off the side of the road into a shallow ravine and then flip.
"My mind immediately went into our training - my train of thought as a medic - and I went over to assist, help and make sure everything was OK," Allabaugh said.
But what Allabaugh would later find was far from OK.
As luck would have it, there was a break in the median so Allabaugh could maneuver his vehicle from the southbound lane of 63 to the northbound lane, where he parked behind the accident. As he exited his car, Allabaugh instructed his 7-year-old daughter, Daveigh, to use her cell phone to call her mother, Tiffany, who had stopped before the accident to get gas, so she could call 911 and report the accident.
Then, along with another passerby who had stopped, Allabaugh checked on the three passengers - two grandparents and their roughly 10-year-old grandson. Despite all three wearing seatbelts, Allabaugh discovered that the grandfather, who was sitting in the passenger seat, was seriously injured.
"He was bleeding from his head profusely," said Allabaugh, who was wearing his Army combat uniform at the time after participating in an exercise with his unit in Fulton earlier in the day. "I had the other passerby use his T-shirt and apply pressure to control the bleeding. Then I hopped in the backseat and held the grandfather's head to immobilize his spine."
While waiting for additional help to arrive, Allabaugh spoke with the grandfather to keep him calm and continue to assess his condition to pass along to emergency medical services once they arrived. Allabaugh also called the grandson's father, who happened to be a local police officer, to let him know about the accident.
Allabaugh said the father arrived on scene shortly after he made the call.
"He was calm and said he'd be right there," Allabaugh said. "He was there within five to 10 minutes."
While waiting, another Missouri Guardsman from Allabaugh's unit, 1st Lt. John Breeden, stopped to offer assistance, but left soon after seeing Allabaugh in control of the situation.
Once Allabaugh turned the scene over to first responders, the grandfather was taken to Capital Region Medical Center and later to the University-Columbia Hospital.
Allabaugh received a call that evening from the father, who reported that in addition to the head wound, the grandfather had suffered four crushed vertebra, fractured ribs on both sides and bruised lungs.
"The son wanted to say, 'Thank you,' and how appreciative he was that I stopped to help and take care of his father," Allabaugh said. "He said, 'You saved his life by not letting him move or letting anybody move him out of the car,' because he did in fact have spine damage."
Capt. Joey Schmitz, deputy commander of the 7th Civil Support Team, said he was pleased with the way Allabaugh responded to the accident.
"Sgt 1st Class Allabaugh's actions were in keeping with the tradition of the Citizen-Soldier," Schmitz said. "He was fulfilling the requirement not only to answer the nation's call in a time of federal need, but also answering the state's call in a time of need.
"It is apparent that his actions reflected greatly upon his training as a combat medic. He was able to bring to bear those skills he learned both in combat and in training to save a fellow Missourian's life."
Schmitz, who began his military career as an enlisted combat medic before becoming a Medical Service Corps officer, said Allabaugh exhibited the value of training in the Guard.
"Having been an emergency medical technician, it is always a great thing when our training does pay off," Schmitz said. "Not only did he save the individual's life, it sounds like he was instrumental in preventing paralysis. Allabaugh is a great example of how a Citizen-Soldier can benefit the state as well as the United States."
Allabaugh has served in the Missouri Guard for 13 years after a two-year stint on active duty. He deployed with the 110th Combat Engineer Battalion out of Kansas City to Iraq from 2005-2006 as a combat medic. He currently serves as the medical noncommissioned officer in charge of the 7th Civil Support Team, an active-Guard located at the Cooper Armory.
Recently, Allabaugh was humbled to become the first Missouri Guardsman to receive the National Guard Bureau's Einstein Award, an honor that recognizes dedication to excellence in the analytical medical field.
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Sgt. 1st Class Jason Allabaugh, medical noncomissioned officer in charge for the Missouri National Guard's 7th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, recently relied on his training to provide some potentially life-saving first aid to a fellow citizen after a vehicular accident on U.S. Highway 63 near Jefferson City.
(Photo by Matthew J. Wilson)