Who: Staff Sergeant Alaine Sueme.
Where: Marine Corps Recruiting Sub Station, Saratoga Springs.
Last week, you sprung to action when witnessing a two-car collision in front of the supermarket on Weibel Road. What happened?
I was walking out of the grocery store toward my car when I heard a loud screeching noise. When I looked, I saw a dark gray SUV have a head-on with another vehicle, go off the road and hit a tree.
What did you do?
I took off running towards the car. It looked like those people were going to need help.
What did you see when you got close?
I was only 30 meters away but when your adrenaline kicks in everything happens in slow motion. I saw the windshield shattered, the air bags deployed, and a person in the driver’s side with her head against the steering wheel. I called out to her, ‘Ma’am, ‘ma’am, are you OK.’ Very timidly, she said she was. I opened the driver’s side door and began asking her first-responder questions: what day is it? Do you know where you are? When is your birthday? She answered them all, but she was very dazed.
Your training provided you the tools you needed?
I’m CPR-certified, and I’ve taken a combat life saver course. Training as a Marine, we go through a lot of life-saving techniques. At that point it was second nature. I was thinking: I need to get there as fast as I can, because someone’s hurt and I want to make sure everyone’s OK – provide CPR, or first aid if need be.
What was going through your mind at the time?
I was looking at the way she was responding and what injuries she might have. There was a welt on her chest from the seatbelt. The vehicle was smoking at that point, so I wanted to get her out of the vehicle as a fast as possible. Her nose was a little bit bloody. I asked her: Does your head hurt? Does your neck hurt? She said no, so I determined it would be OK to remove her from the vehicle. I sat her down on the grass and stayed with her to make sure she was OK.
Have you heard back from the woman?
I told her my name is Alaine so I don’t think she knew I was a Marine.