From the Halls of Montezuma . . . to the docks at Pier 90.
A pair of Marines became heroes in the fight against coronavirus this week when they sprung into action and rushed life-saving oxygen to some patents caught in a traffic jam of ambulances arriving at the USNS Comfort, according to a report.
The incident happened as a fleet of 10 ambulances carrying patients evacuated from a local hospital arrived at the Hudson River dock where the massive naval hospital ship is moored, and some of the patients began running dangerously low on oxygen, Military.com reported.
“That wasn’t something that myself or any of my Marines were willing to let happen to an American citizen,” Sgt. Austin Loppe told the outlet of the prospect of patients running out of oxygen. “So, we knew right away that we needed to get them linked up with the medical team as quickly as possible.”
The soldiers first learned that the fourth ambulance was running low on air causing the patient’s condition to begin rapidly deteriorating.
A vintage, if macabre, graphic from a 1940 city Parks…
So the men halted traffic and let the ambulance cut the line near the Pier 90 dock so it could make the half-mile trip down to where Navy medical staff could take over, the news outlet reported.
Ten minutes later, another patient in an ambulance at the back of the line also began running out of oxygen prompting the men from the Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment to act fast to get the person to the ship’s medical staff, the report says.
As other ambulances began facing the same problem, the men started running oxygen tanks down the pier to the patients, according to the outlet.
The company from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina had been preparing to ship out overseas when they were rerouted to the Comfort as part of a Pentagon move to use 50,000 service members around the country in the pandemic relief efforts, the publication said.
“We have an obligation to protect the American people, regardless of the enemy,” chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said Tuesday in a Pentagon briefing, according to the report.
“In this case, COVID-19 is the enemy.”