08 July 2013

Just Doing Their Job

     On the 29th of June, I sat on my computer for a few minutes and noticed a news article about a motorcycle accident and the injured rider. I looked at the picture of the motorcycle and thought, "I hope it's not anyone I know." Four hours later, they released the name of the patient, my uncle. I saw this on a Facebook post, and at first I thought it was really strange to see his name anywhere on Facebook...or the internet...or even on a computer. I read the whole article to make sure the name was right, then called my dad to make sure there wasn't someone with the same name, who was the same age, who lived in the same town. There wasn't.
     My dad started making calls and I started reading news. It took a while, but we finally got some information. My uncle was driving and was struck by an SUV failing to stop at a stop sign. My uncle's leg and hand were crushed and his leg had to be amputated. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital, then by helicopter to another hospital. He was pretty heavily sedated for the first couple of days. He has undergone several surgeries and is working toward recovery.

     Well...what does this have to do with preparedness? When Blackfoot Police Officer Andrew Adrignola arrived on the scene, my uncle had already lost a lot of blood, and bystanders were putting pressure on the wound. He told me that he usually carries a first aid kit with him, but unfortunately did not have it on his person that day. The Bingham County Deputy, Jake Johnson, who had arrived on the scene just prior to him had a tourniquet for him to use. He applied it, and when it wasn't working well, applied another one given by Blackfoot Police Sergeant Wesley Wheatley who assisted him.

Officer Adrignola told me that he learned how to use the tourniquet when an organization from Boise came out to train officers. Captain Sobieski of the Bingham County Sheriff's Office told me that all patrol deputies were also trained and that all cars are equipped with first aid kits.
Andrew Adrignola holding a Combat Application Tourniquet
     I took particular interest in this accident, not only because my uncle was involved, but because of the methods used to save his life. Nothing else would have done the trick. Officer Adrignola told me that it is important for everyone to get trained the best you can because you never know when you'll need it.
     A combination of training, having the right tools, and staying calm saved my uncle's life. We need to learn a few things, like how to stop bleeding, we need to have the right tools(fortunately, someone there did), and we need to stay calm and take action. Captain Sobieski emphasized that everybody needs to stay calm when the adrenaline starts pumping.
     These gentlemen insist they are not heroes but that they were just doing their job. I can respect that, but heroes or not, they did save a life because they were prepared. Maybe the world doesn't need more heroes, it just needs more people to be prepared and step up when they need to. Maybe you'll save somebody's uncle. I'm sure glad these men saved mine.



  1. Well written and we are so glad that he is okay! We'll get prepared!

  2. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of you. Thank you for taking the time to instill knowledge to others. Glad Uncle Ken is alive. Hope healing is kind and swift.

  3. Wow, that is so amazing! How far did his leg get amputated? below or above the knee? I too can say how grateful I am that people are trained and know how to react in these situations, without the training my brother received in the military, my husband in first aid and the responders my dad would not be here today as well. He had a short below the knee amputation a little over a year ago. Thank you for sharing your story, your uncle will be in my prayers.

  4. Officer Adrignola is my older brother, I couldn't be more proud!! Great job out there BPD