Written By Pfc. George Taylor
On Wednesday evening, August 23, 2023, Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) Pfc. Dennis Pham was working out at his local gym, when he noticed, out of the corner of his eye, someone doing “strange pushups.”
“I first noticed someone doing what seemed like ‘strange pushups,’ and I then realized something was wrong,” Pfc. Pham said.
Pfc Pham jumped off the treadmill to investigate further and found a man, in his mid-50s, blue in the face, gasping for air. The man had no pulse.
Thanks to Pfc. Pham’s GSDF training, he responded quickly and appropriately. Just a few weeks ago, Pfc. Pham had reviewed his Basic Life Support training while attending the GSDF’s First Aid Specialist Course. The First Aid Specialist Course is an entry-level course designed to bring Soldiers up to speed on life-saving drills and to prepare them for follow-up courses that could lead to a medic designation.
Pfc. Pham and others at the gym continued CPR for more than 10 minutes, while deploying an automated external defibrillator shock (commonly called an AED) at least four times.
“We had to cut the man’s shirt off, and I applied the pads in the appropriate places,” Pfc. Pham said. “We then followed the prompts from the device. I helped others with administering the chest compressions.”
GSDF’s motto is Parati Servire, meaning “Ready to Serve.”
Pfc. Pham personified that motto–in the right place, at the right time, with the right knowledge.
Pfc. Pham and Pfc. Taylor serve in the GSDF 1st Brigade.