By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David R. Krigbaum
Being a Sailor is a 24/7 job but when the day is over, most take off their uniforms and go home without the expectation they will need to draw upon their professional skills of repairing jet engines, maneuvering watercraft or managing paperwork for hundreds of people. For hospital corpsman though, it’s a little different.
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jordan Lewis, from Riverside, Ca., had come home to a power outage in his neighborhood of Haiki Aug. 11, 2017. Lewis, who works at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka Branch Health Clinic Sasebo’s dental clinic, is among the 1,000 Sasebo-based Sailors and civilians who live off base in Sasebo City.
The power was out due to a small fire than had broken out in the park adjacent to his home. First responders had put it out but there was still damage being managed. He was watching the recovery from his backyard when he saw a man get electrocuted by a dangling powerline. After his shock the man took a few dazed steps then collapsed, convulsing and foaming at the mouth.
Lewis instinctively jumped the fence and rushed to his aid. “You don’t have to think about it, you just have to grab a bag and go,” he said, likening it to hearing a medical emergency called away.
The victim had no pulse, but was breathing, so Lewis began giving him chest compressions immediately. After about a minute he regained consciousness. A Japanese ambulance arrived on scene and took it from there.
He was personally thanked by Yukitoshi Akase, the local chief of police, for his actions on Aug. 25. According to Akase, had Lewis not acted when he did, the man would have died before the ambulance arrived. The local police gave him their thanks and are having a plaque made as a token of appreciation. Lewis’ chain of command has also put him in for the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
“I’m extremely happy [he lived] because as a corpsman your job is to save lives,” said Lewis. “Everyone has heard the term you’re a Sailor 24-7 but when you say that to a corpsman it means something a little different.”