The Armed Services YMCA is pleased to announce Staff Sgt. Juan Pablo Medina of the U.S. Air Force as a recipient of the 2019 Angels of the Battlefield Award. His work and actions contributed to the 99% survival rate for trauma and emergency patients at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, in 2018.
“I’m very honored [to receive the Angels of the Battlefield Award],” Medina said in a recent interview. “I don’t feel deserving because I know there’s people out there who have done the same or more. My team had confidence in me while I was there.”
Medina served as a paramedic in the emergency department of the 455th Expeditionary Medical Group, and supported Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Resolute Support Mission from April to October 2018.
Medina enabled care for nearly 1,200 trauma and emergency patients. He was the lead paramedic in two mass casualty events and played a role in the survival of two critical patients. One patient was having a heart attack and Medina assisted with the administration of medication to dissolve the clot. He used his expertise and skills to revive another patient who was not breathing and had no pulse.
“It’s pretty chaotic because everyone’s waiting for these people to come in,” Medina says of a mass casualty response. “You’re just ready. You gown-up head to toe. You just know your roles. It’s pretty intense … And you have to do it to save their lives. It’s hard, but that’s what we’re trained to do. Your job is to bring someone back to life.
“It all comes down to the training and team that we work with. It’s very important that each member of the team knows what their job is when the patient gets there and that helps speed everything up.”
Medina, the father of two, is currently serving as a paramedic for the 11th Medical Operations Squadron, 11th Medical Group, 11th Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Md. His deployment history includes deployments in Iraq and Qatar. His awards and decorations include the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal.
The Angels of the Battlefield Awards Gala is an Armed Services YMCA signature event honoring the individual men and women on the front lines who are saving lives and have demonstrated extraordinary courage. The Armed Services YMCA recognizes a single individual from each military branch for their accomplishments.
The annual Angels of the Battlefield Gala is Oct. 29 at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City in Arlington, Va. Angels is the only event which recognizes the front line actions of military medical personnel.
ABOUT ARMED SERVICES YMCA:
The Armed Services YMCA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves currently serving military members and their families. In 2018, we engaged more than 225,000 people in our programs and delivered nearly 1 million points of services to junior enlisted Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen and family members at 200 service centers in 18 states. Whether providing respite child care for parents in need, summer camps for kids, or assisting with emergency needs, the Armed Services YMCA is a nonprofit with a mission: Strengthening Our Military Family.