Paxton Galvanek credits America’s Army for giving him the mad lifesaving skillz he demonstrated when he witnessed a horrific traffic accident on the I-40 in North Carolina.
After seeing an SUV go out of control and roll about five times, Galvanek stopped and ran across the highway to the crashed vehicle while his wife called 911. Two people were inside the SUV; Galvanek removed the passenger and got him away from the vehicle, and after assessing him as having only minor cuts and injuries, instructed him to remain clear while he retrieved the driver. The driver was much more seriously injured, with two lost fingers, head trauma and profuse bleeding; employing the knowledge he had gained from America’s Army, Galvanek located a towel, put pressure on the victim’s hand and instructed him to sit down while keeping his hand elevated over his head and pressure applied to the wound. Examining the head wound further, he determined the cut was not as serious as the injured hand.
Approximately five minutes later, an Army soldier with medical training arrived and took over the situation, telling Galvanek he had done a “great job” and that there was nothing more he could do until the paramedics arrived. With the situation in hand, Galvanek left the scene of the accident and continued on his way.
“I have received no prior medical training and can honestly say that because of the training and presentations within America’s Army, I was able to help and possibly save the injured men,” Galvanek wrote in a letter to the America’s Army team. “As I look back on the events of that day, the training that I received in the America’s Army videogame keeps coming to mind.”
In order to qualify as a combat medic in the game, players must take “virtual medical training classes” similar to those taught to real U.S. soldiers, learning to evaluate and prioritize casualties, control bleeding, recognize and treat shock and administer aid when victims are not breathing.
“Because of the training he received in America’s Army’s virtual classroom, Mr. Galvanek had mastered the basics of first aid and had the confidence to take appropriate action when others might do nothing. He took the initiative to assess the situation, prioritize actions and apply the correct procedures,” said America’s Army Project Director Colonel Casey Wardynski. “Paxton is a true hero. We are pleased to have played a role in providing the lifesaving training that he employed so successfully at the scene.”