A Brookfield native was one of three Wisconsin Army National Guard soldiers credited with saving a woman's life in New Mexico in early January.
Spc. Michael Black, a student at UW-Whitewater and a combat medic, is a member of Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery, based in Plymouth, WI. According to a press release from the Wisconsin National Guard, Black was stationed at Fort Bliss, TX in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan. He and two other soldiers were driving to Dona Ana, NM on Jan. 5 to conduct training.
According to The Fort Bliss Monitor, the soliders came across a one-car accident during a foggy morning along New Mexico State Highway 213. A man's car had slid off an icy road, hit a guardrail and rolled. When the passenger door came open, the female passenger injured her leg.
"It was an open fracture and bleeding pretty well. I grabbed my medical bag out of the vehicle, assessed the patient, threw a tourniquet on there," Black said, according to the press release. "Medical evac was already en route."
Before that assistance could arrive, Black and his fellow soldiers — Sgt. 1st Class Todd Richter, of Sheboygan and Spc. Joshua Aprill, of Oconto Falls — treated the woman, comforted the driver, directed traffic and cleared the road of debris. According to the Monitor, the woman sustained two broken legs, four cracked ribs, and a cracked sternum.
For his work, Black is recommended for the Soldier's Medal, which is presented to a soldier who displays heroism in action not involving conflict with an enemy.
"It was a surprise, to say the least," Black said in the National Guard release. "We did what we had to do."