AFMC Command News

Eglin police provide aid to local woman

  • Published
  • By Samuel King Jr.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - An early-morning breakfast grab-and-go quickly became a possible life-saving operation for two 96th Security Forces Squadron officers Aug. 18 in Niceville.

Officers Errol Clarke and Logan Bixler were at a gas station around 5:45 a.m. near Bluewater Bay prior to patrolling Eglin range checkpoints and facilities east of the base.  As Clarke went to pay, a female employee in her 50s fainted as she left the counter.  She hit her head on the glass door surrounding the register and then again on the ground.

The approximately eight other shoppers instantly froze in situational shock.  Clarke, however, immediately jumped into action helping the unresponsive woman and took charge of the scene.  He saw she struggled to breathe and was bleeding from her head.

“My first thought when she fell was ‘this lady needs help,’” said the 37-year-old from Miami.

Although this was his first emergency response in his three years at Eglin, Clarke experienced similar medical situations during his seven years with the Fulton County Police Department near Atlanta.

He rolled the employee on her side and tilted her head to help oxygen flow.  Once her breathing restored, she became alert, but in a semi-conscious state.  Clarke said she tried to speak but could not.

Clarke radioed into Eglin’s emergency control center to alert them and begin getting emergency services help.  Bixler held the woman’s head and tried to stop the bleeding while talking to her to keep her conscious.

Local medical services arrived within 10 minutes and took control.  According to Clarke, the woman tearfully thanked him and Bixler for being in the right place at the right time.

After the eventful morning, Eglin’s Police Five and its officers got back on the road.  The two officers talked through event and shared similar stories from their past throughout their shift.  Clarke shared what he spoke to Bixler about once they returned to their patrol car.

“Some things are just luck, but in this case, it wasn’t luck,” he said.  “I believe we were supposed to be there and help at that time.”