“I’m not gonna let this person die on my front lawn,” Capt. Kevin Barry thought as he began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The 36th Engineer Brigade Soldier was at his new home in Temple when his mover, Sedrick Evans, of Towne Services, collapsed on his front lawn July 8.
“I realized I left my phone in the garage. I saw that he was seated by my garage door and then saw him fall over,” Barry said of the ordeal. “I ran over and checked for responsiveness. He wasn’t responding to verbal, so I went to do a sternum rub to check for pain and he responded to pain, so I knew he was somewhat there.”
Evans began convulsing and stopped breathing, so Barry dragged him to the concrete and began CPR, while also flagging down a neighbor for assistance. While the two men alternated CPR, Barry wondered if it was a heat-related injury, so he grabbed ice and cold water to help cool down Evans’ extremities.
“I wasn’t going to let him die,” Barry said. “I started thinking back to all the training I’ve had.”
In those moments, Barry recalled the lifeguard training and Combat Lifesaver training the Army taught him. He said he knows he did not do everything perfectly, but he is thankful he remembered enough of his training to keep Evans alive.
“You gotta stay vigilant and be ready. I know we focus on lethality here in the Army, especially here at the Phantom Warrior Corps, but part of lethality is making sure everyone is alive and ready to go,” Barry said. “It may not be combat, it may be in Killeen or Temple where you’re asked to step up and save a life.”
Col. Clete Goetz, commander of the 36th Eng. Bde., said when people are confronted with a situation like the kind Barry faced, they’re at a crossroads and don’t know if they will freeze, or react. Luckily for Evans, Barry reacted and saved a life.
“That’s what selfless service looks like,” Goetz said. “There was a fellow human being who went into distress and he just goes into action and does what needs to be done.”
For his lifesaving actions, Goetz presented Barry with an Army Commendation Medal Friday. Choking back tears, Julie Allison, vice-president of Towne Services, thanked Barry for saving Evans’ life.
“We’re indebted to him,” Allison said of Barry. “If it weren’t for him, Sedrick wouldn’t be alive.”
As a small way to say thank you to Barry, Towne Services, which has operated in Killeen for more than 50 years, is donating $1,000 to Barry’s charity of choice – Fisher House Foundation.
Goetz said he hopes Barry’s lifesaving actions gives other Soldiers a renewed confidence in the training they receive in the Army.
“We talk a lot about our values. I think this is one of those situations about what happens when you put your values into action,” Goetz said. “They can protect you, they can protect others and they can save a life.”