Cadet Hayden Rose ’26, a computer science major, used the skills he learned as a VMI emergency medical technician to save a woman’s life recently while embedded with the 91st Cyber Brigade for a military activity at Camp Pendleton, the Virginia National Guard State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
According to Donnie McBrayer, VMI Emergency Medical Services advisor, Rose was one of 21 students who attended an EMT class held in June at VMI, taught by Mountain Gateway Community College. “The students go through five weeks (150 hours) of training to become an EMT. They teach and prepare the students to handle medical and trauma patients whom they might encounter in an emergency scene. The training goes through medical issues such as cardiac arrest, chest pain, stroke, diabetic episodes, breathing problems, and other medical issues. With trauma, they are taught how to handle bleeding control and minor injuries to severely traumatic injuries. The VMI EMS is a Virginia department of EMS non-transport agency that runs 911 emergency services on VMI property. It provides coverage for any cadet-related function that needs EMS support, such as rat activities, parades, NCAA events, and ROTC exercises. VMI has 58 EMTs, and when cadets are on post, there is an in-county officer and guard EMT who provide 911 coverage to any individual who is injured or experiencing a medical emergency. Lexington Fire Department EMTs are only called if the patient needs transportation to a hospital. Most often, cadet injuries and illnesses can be treated on post,” said McBrayer.
The woman Rose aided at Camp Pendleton was a civilian employee of a major telecommunications company that was also participating in the cybersecurity exercise called “Cyber Fortress.” Following a morning briefing, a group of participants was walking from one building to another when Rose noticed her looking confused but initially thought her confusion stemmed from being in new surroundings. Suddenly, he heard a Marine yell for medical assistance and saw the woman face down on the ground, bleeding. Without hesitation, he ran over to her, knowing he was the nearest person to her with medical emergency training. A member of the 91st brigade, along with four Marines who were on base for a different exercise, also gathered around her to help. “I knew my training and knew it was something I could help with. I assessed her and found that she wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse. I knew right away we had to start CPR. None of the other service members helping were certified in CPR, so part of my job was instructing them in proper CPR technique. We all took turns performing CPR, and I kept reassessing her to make sure we were doing everything we could to save her life until the ambulance arrived,” related Rose. Focused on his patient, he was unsure how long it took for the ambulance to arrive, but some people there estimated they performed CPR for 20 minutes. The ambulance transported her to the hospital.
A representative from the company visited Camp Pendleton a few days later to thank Rose and the others who helped and reported that the woman was still in the hospital and in critical condition.
Rose’s quick action did not go unnoticed by Col. Adrian T. Bogart III ’81, commandant to the Corps of Cadets, who said, “Rose’s calmness under pressure and quick thinking are a great example of the citizen-soldiers developed at Virginia Military Institute. He demonstrated the values that VMI produces of a high-quality, well-trained, service-minded individual who does not hesitate to assist others.”
After completing his exercises at Camp Pendleton, Rose took the National Registry EMT test that provides him with a two-year certification and returned to VMI in mid-August for cadre week to assume his EMT duties.
From Cedarburg, Wisconsin, where he attended Cedarburg High School, Rose is a member of the VMI NCAA swim team and a member of Band Company as a trombonist. He is the son of Matthew Rose of Heartland, Wisconsin, and Kirstin Collins of Grafton, Wisconsin. After graduation, he plans to commission into the Army.
Marianne Hause VMI Communications & Marketing
Editor's Note: Story originally published by Virginia Military Institute.