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Groton — A local submariner recently helped save a man who was having a heart attack at Electric Boat while another evacuated passengers from a burning bus in Preston.
Both good Samaritans credited their military training with giving them the knowledge and confidence to help.
Jared Bradovich, a machinist’s mate first class, was aboard the USS Annapolis when the sub’s emergency medical assistance team was called. A shipyard worker was having a heart attack on the walkway leading to the submarine on Nov. 2.
The Annapolis is at Electric Boat for maintenance and the stricken shipyard worker is one of the Newport News Shipbuilding employees helping with the job.
The emergency medical assistance team was on a barge near the sub, not on the sub itself, so Bradovich grabbed an emergency medical kit and climbed out of the submarine.
The man wasn’t breathing so Bradovich and another shipyard worker administered CPR for about five minutes until EB’s fire department arrived on the scene and took the man to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital. He was then taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, said Lt. Cmdr. Andre Lester, executive officer of the Annapolis (SSN 760).
“The report I received from one of the supervisors is they were told at Yale that if it was not for the first responders, he probably would’ve died,” Lester said. “He had two massive heart attacks on the pier.”
Two days later, on Nov. 4, a student at the Naval Submarine School, Charles Barlow, was driving on Route 164 in Preston when he saw a bus on fire, according to the school. The bus came to a halt on the side of the road. Barlow pulled over, too, and ran toward it.
Barlow, an aviation electronics technician third class, called 911 and then boarded the bus to lead the 40 passengers to safety, the school said. He returned to the bus with a fire extinguisher from his vehicle and with help from the bus driver put out the fire in the rear engine compartment.
Barlow directed traffic until the police arrived. Capt. David Roberts, commanding officer of the Naval Submarine School, presented him with a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal on Thursday. Roberts praised Barlow’s quick response and “display of outstanding situational awareness and calm resolve.”
“Thanks to my Navy training, I knew what to do and was confident I could handle what was coming,” Barlow said in a statement. “I was glad to be able to use what I’ve learned to help others and make a difference.”
Bradovich said he was happy to help.
“It makes me happy I can still utilize my training and help someone out that was in need,” he said in an interview.
Bradovich said he learned CPR on his first submarine and received a refresher course when he reported to the Annapolis. He studied at Tripler Army Medical Center and he knows combat life-saving skills because he served with the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2007 as one of the Navy’s individual augmentees, the sailors who temporarily step out of their normal roles to support other units.
Nearly all of the sailors on the Annapolis could perform CPR, and only a few need more training to be certified, Lester said. That is because at sea, “it’s just us,” he added.
“We do a lot of training like that because you never know when you’re going to have to respond or who will have to respond,” Lester said.
Lester said when he saw Bradovich take charge and help the man, he told everyone else to stay clear.
“He’s one of the go-to guys on the ship,” he said, adding later that “any other crew member would’ve done the same thing.”
“That’s the kind of tight-knit family we have down here, and the skills we learn we can apply them to everyone,” he said.