MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. —
It was just an ordinary day for U.S. Air Force Capt. Erik Walker, 742nd Missile Squadron instructor on Monday, Aug. 28, 2023.
Walker just dropped his son off for his first day of school when he drove by a stopped car on the side of the road. At first glance, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but then he thought the car was parked in an odd place and decided to check it out.
After walking over from his car, Walker discovered a woman kneeling in the grass with her bicycle not too far away.
“It all happened so fast,” Walker said. “I know that I was scared at first because she was groaning in pain, but I knew she really needed help.”
He tried to talk to the woman, but she was unresponsive. The injured woman must have conjured up the strength to call emergency services before Walker’s arrival, because Walker could hear the dispatcher on the other end of her phone still trying to talk.
Walker picked up the phone and spoke with the dispatcher about the woman’s condition and gave them the address of the accident. Walker decided to stay with the injured woman while they waited for emergency services. Just as Walker thought her injuries were under control, the woman proceeded to have a seizure.
“I was worried more about her wellbeing and making sure I was doing everything I could than anything else,” Walker said.
After a brief period of uncertainty caused by anxiety, Walker relied on his Tactical Combat Casualty Care training to help the situation. Walker got her in recovery position by bending her knees at 90 degrees, placing her on her side to prevent choking and protecting her head.
“I checked her pulse,” Walker said. “I don’t have an extensive medical background, I just know a few things they taught us in the military to check for.”
After five minutes, emergency services arrived at the scene providing Walker with a sense of relief to leave the woman in capable hands. The emergency service technicians thanked Walker for his help and took the injured woman to the hospital.
Even after the scene was clear and the woman was in proper medical care, Walker knew he still had to head to work.
“I tried to tell my boss what happened afterwards, and it was kind of a blur,” Walker said.
Walker said seven years ago, he helped another woman who was having a seizure and performed the same measures until emergency services arrived. He thinks what he did is all part of basic human decency; nothing out of the ordinary.