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Hurlburt NCO saves coworker after collapse

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --  A security forces NCO lost consciousness and was saved by a fellow Airman while eating dinner at a Las Vegas restaurant Sunday.

Master Sgt. Jeff Jones, the security superintendent for Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment 06 and security superintendent for the 505th Command and Control Wing at Hurlburt Field, Fla., noticed that Staff Sgt. Dionne Bennett, an Air National Guard augmentee working with the JEFX security team, looked faint and “un-alert” while their team ate dinner.

“She put her hand on her head and complained about being hot,” explained Sergeant Jones. “I asked if she was OK and she simply replied, ‘I don’t know.’”

At that moment, Sergeant Bennett fell out of her seat and began to lose consciousness.
“Sergeant Jones took control of the situation immediately,” said Master Sgt. Mark Benson, the assistant security superintendent at JEFX 06. While Sgt. Jones barked orders to the restaurant staff and began to administer first aid, Sergeant Benson took Sergeant Bennett’s young son away from the scene.

“Sergeant Jones’ training kicked in immediately,” said Sergeant Benson. “He had the entire situation under control in a matter of seconds.”

After confirming that the restaurant staff called 911, Sergeant Jones kept his coworker alert, checked her heart rate, pupil dilation and applied a cold compress to her forehead. Once paramedics arrived, Sergeant Jones was able to give them vital information they needed to administer further care. He then accompanied Sergeant Bennett to the hospital to provide additional support.

“I know that any one of our military family would have done the same for me,” said Sergeant Jones. “I’m just glad that everyone present was able to do their part to help one of our team.” 

Sergeant Jones credits his training as a certified first responder for giving him the tools to save his friend’s life.

“While at Kadena Air Base, Japan, I received the training...it all came back to me at that moment,” he said.

For Sergeant Bennett, the road to recovery is expected to be short.

Doctors later diagnosed she experienced an aneurism, but will recover fully. She’s already looking forward to returning to work during the exercise.

“I’ve got a few follow-up appointments, but I’m ready to get back with the mission support element,” said Sergeant Bennett.

“I want to thank [Sergeant Jones] personally for saving my life,” said Sergeant Bennett. “Him keeping calm and in control is what made the difference.”

The incident has clearly cemented a bond between the two security forces troops.

“Master Sergeant Jones is definitely my hero...I don’t know what my son and I would have done if this had happened somewhere else,” said Sergeant Bennett. “I’m lucky to have such a caring and prepared team.”