Green Beret Saves Neighbor’s Life


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice Archive/2009/September/090916-02.html

FORT LEWIS, Wash. (USASOC News Service, Sept. 16, 2009) – Medics in the U.S. Army prepare for a number of situations while training for combat. Preparing for the unexpected is part of the training, but saving a neighbor suffering from cardiopulmonary failure is not a situation discussed in training manuals.

This was the situation 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Green Beret Sergeant First Class Chad Harreld found himself in Oct. 17, 2008 when his neighbor, retired Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chuck Moore, called requesting medical assistance. His actions that Friday night earned him an Army Commendation Medal.

Harreld had just finished a phone conversation with Moore and was thinking about what he would do during the coming weekend.

“Everything seemed normal,” said Harreld. “About 15 minutes later I received another call from (Moore). I figure he had another joke or thought that he wanted to share with me about our previous conversation minutes earlier.”

Instead of hearing the retired Chinook pilot jovially tell a joke as he expected, Harreld struggled to hear a labored voice that was hard to distinguish.

“I could barely make out his voice over the phone,” explained the Special Forces medic. “I confirmed with my caller ID that it was actually him. I could hear him make out the words ‘Doc, I can’t breathe.’"

Harreld promptly hung up the phone and instructed his children to stay put and told them that he would “be right back.” He grabbed his first aid bag and bolted to his neighbor’s house.

Harreld found Moore in bed, peaked and gasping for air. As Harreld began his assessment, Moore stopped breathing. Harreld directed Moore’s wife, Kum-cha, to call local emergency medical services for assistance. Harreld then began rescue breathing to keep Moore alive.

“After about 10-15 minutes on assisted ventilation, (Moore) began to regain consciousness,” said Harreld.

Shortly thereafter, EMS arrived with all the tools necessary to finish what Harreld had started.

After providing information and assistance to the ambulance crew, Harreld watched helplessly as his patient was driven to the hospital.

“I was honestly quite scared for him, it's not a normal daily occurrence to stop breathing for an extended period of time,” said Harreld.

Harreld added that he called the hospital where Moore had been transported to and checked on him about an hour later.

“I was very relieved to hear he was going to be admitted,” said Harreld. “I knew that there wasn't anything else I could have possibly done, but the thought is always in the back of your head.”

As a result of Harreld’s leadership and skill, the ambulance crew saved time by not having to problem solve much on their patient.

“They reacted from his judgment,” said Moore. “He saved my [explicit] life that night.”

Moore added that he is extremely grateful to have an intelligent and competent neighbor such as Harreld as a friend and neighbor.

Harreld said that he glad that his neighbor is well and at home now.

“He would have done the same thing for me,” said Harreld.