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Right Place, Right Time: Public health Airman saves life while on leave

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Edward W. Yankus
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs

It was the evening of Feb. 2 that would turn U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Regina E. Bean, 18th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron chief of public health operations, into a hero after saving a local national when their leg was bisected in a motor vehicle accident. 

While driving halfway to Nago, Okinawa, Bean’s husband noticed there were people gathered around someone on the ground.

“He immediately had me jump out of the car to see if I could offer some assistance,” Bean said. “Once I got closer, I noticed that there was a local national lying on the ground who had his right foot mostly amputated.”

Bean instantly set about finding a way to stop the bleeding, her instincts and medical training kicking in.

“Knowing that I needed to stop the bleeding as soon as possible, I immediately yelled back towards our car asking for a belt,” said Bean.  “I gestured putting on a belt in case other bystanders couldn’t understand the words I was saying.”

Just a day prior, Lt. Bean had attended a Tactical Combat Casualty Care course as a refresher so the knowledge and experience were fresh in her mind.

“After securing the tourniquets and ensuring the bleeding stopped, the surrounding locals and traffic decided that it no longer wanted to wait for the scene to be cleared and started to drive past us,” said Bean. 

 “This made the situation more dangerous for us as we could not move the man and there was very little space. My husband started directing traffic and keeping others from trying to pass us, ensuring everyone’s safety.”

Local first responders arrived at the scene in the midst of trying to direct traffic as well as make sure the injured local didn't lose any more blood, Bean assisted them in getting the local national on the stretcher and into the ambulance.

 After ensuring the man was safe and the police did not need anything from either of them, they went to the nearest convenience store to wash up.

“We are all extremely proud of 1st Lt. Bean and how she represented Kadena and the Air Force,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Melissa Peters 18th OMRS public health flight commander.

“She showcased how we are not only here to defend our initiatives within the Pacific region but also to take care of and support the local population.”

Nakama Hajime, Kin town mayor and Kin District Fire and Health Association director, gave remarks on the incident.

“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Lt. Regina E. Bean,” said Mayor Nakama. “I am once again reminded that our society is supported by courageous individuals like her who think of others.”

Bean has since continued to be a valued part of the 18th OMRS and Kadena as a whole. She will be accepting a certificate of appreciation for her efforts during the incident from both the Ishikawa Police Station and Mayor Nakama.