Published April 17. 2013 1:00PM Updated April 18. 2013 11:12AM
It was one of dozens of photographs taken of everyday heroes helping those severely injured by two explosions at the Boston Marathon Monday.
Photographer Kenshin Okubo, of Boston University’s independent student newspaper The Daily Free Press, had captured an image of a woman supporting the head of a barely conscious man while another man tended to his injuries.
The caption didn’t identify those in the photo, but to some in eastern Connecticut, they were recognizable as Montville Police Officer Karen Moorehead and State Trooper Jeffrey Meninno.
Moorehead and Meninno had attended the Patriots’ Day Red Sox game at Fenway Park. When the game was over, they decided to watch the end of the marathon.
As they walked toward the 26-mile marker and the finish line, the first bomb went off.
“What do you make of that?” Moorehead asked.
“Whatever it is, it’s not good,” Meninno said.
Moorehead said the runners just stopped, uncertain what to do. Then, Moorehead said, about 10 seconds later, a second bomb went off.
Meninno said they were in the “smoke” of the second bomb, noting that that was how close they were.
And that is when they saw the carnage.
Meninno said he jumped over the barrier and told a Boston police officer that he was a Connecticut state trooper and that Moorehead was a police officer and both had emergency medical training. The officer gave them clearance to proceed. That’s when they encountered the man in the photo.
His name, Moorehead learned, is Jared. He staggered into the middle of the road with his pants shredded by the blast.
He sustained serious burn injuries to his legs and hand. His facial hair was burned off, she said.
“He was still on fire,” Meninno said. “We had to put him out before we could treat him.”
Moorehead said she held Jared’s head to help keep his airway open while Meninno tended to his injuries.
At some point, Moorehead said Jared stopped breathing, and she had to reposition him to get him to breathe again.
Meninno said very little help was available near the second bomb blast site, as medical personnel were near the site of the first blast.
As an ambulance approached, two children were rushed to them — one who was severely burned and the other who had lost a leg in the blast.
“We put the kids in the ambulance first because we knew they were far worse off,” Moorehead said. “We had to triage the injured.”
Moorehead said they had limited medical supplies and had to ask for knives from nearby officers to cut the clothes off the victims. They were able to get medical gauze-like wraps and gloves from an ambulance.
She used a scarf as a tourniquet to stop the blood that was “pouring” from a woman’s hip area. She said the injury looked like a bullet wound.
Another tourniquet was applied to woman who had also sustained a leg injury in the calf area.
“We worked great as a team and did what we could do to help them survive,” Moorehead said.
Meninno said they treated at least 10 victims. They were forced to leave the scene when a police dog got a “hit” on a third suspicious bag.
“We were literally stacking people in ambulances,” he said. “It was the bloodiest scene I’ve ever seen. It was like a movie. It was that strange.”
Both downplayed the heroism of helping the injured even when it was still unclear whether there were more bombs in the area.
“I saw Jared and no one was helping him,” Moorehead said. “I knew I had to help.”
Meninno added that any trained professional would have done the same thing.
“We didn’t do anything special,” Meninno said. “We helped people who needed it.”