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Air Force Reserve training helps Lonoke man save another’s life

By Lisa Burnett

This article was published February 20, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

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Senior Airman William Huff learned CPR as part of his Air Force Reserve training and used those skills to save a man’s life. Huff, a member of the 22nd Air Force, Detachment 1, at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, is credited with reviving a Lonoke County man with the lifesaving technique Huff learned in a CPR class in January. He is a maintenance technician with the base’s growing Air Force Reserve unit.

LONOKE — A casual drive on Feb. 5 for Senior Airman William Huff of Lonoke and his family turned into an opportunity for him to use the skills he learned during his Air Force Reserve training at the Little Rock Air Force Base.

“I had just left my house, and we were driving down Forbus Road, and my fiancee pointed out to me that there was a guy lying in the ditch,” Huff said. “So I pulled over to see what was the matter, because obviously something was wrong because it was 25 degrees outside.”

Huff ran to the man, Scott Munholland, and asked him if he was all right.

“He was telling me, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,’” Huff said. “I said, ‘OK, just let me call 911, and we’ll get you fixed up.’ He said, ‘No, I just need my inhaler.’”

Huff went ahead and called 911 and got his fiancee to bring the car to him to take Munholland to his house.

“We got to his house, and she was on the phone with [911] the whole time. At his house, I helped him out [of the car], and the whole time, he seemed very disoriented and was definitely having trouble breathing,” Huff said.

At the house, Huff said, he had to almost carry Munholland in because he was having trouble walking.

“I took him inside his house and asked him where his inhaler was,” Huff said. “We went into the bathroom, I sat him down, and I told him I would look for it, and I asked him where it should be.”

When Huff searched on the counter and didn’t find the inhaler, Munholland got Huff to look in his pockets, where the inhaler was.

“He was so disoriented, he didn’t remember it was in his pocket. He used his inhaler, and he said he still couldn’t breathe,” Huff said. “I told him to breathe as slowly and as deeply as he could because the ambulance was on its way.”

Right after that, Munholland lost consciousness.

“He kind of slumped over, dropped his inhaler and just went completely limp,” Huff said. “I snapped my fingers, shook him and yelled his name. He was completely unresponsive.”

That’s when Huff’s Air Force Reserve CPR training came into play.

“I laid him down, and I couldn’t feel a pulse, so I administered chest compressions, and he came to after 10 to 15 chest compressions,” Huff said. “He started wheezing and breathing again, and I said, ‘Just keep breathing. It’ll be all right.’”

While the two were waiting for the ambulance, Munholland lost consciousness again.

“I administered chest compressions again, and once again, it was 10 to 15 before he came to and breathing, and it was very labored,” Huff said. “At one point he told me, ‘Just go, I’m not going to make it.’”

Huff told Munholland he was not going to leave him until the EMTs got to his house.

“He was just pretty much insisting that I just leave,” Huff said. “I asked him if he had kids, and he told me, ‘I’ve got lots of kids,’ and I told him, ‘You’re going to see them again. Just stick with me, and you’re going to be OK.’”

The EMTs arrived at the house, and Huff waited until Munholland was stabilized before he left. He said he was glad he was trained in CPR and was able to help in a time of need.

“My most recent CPR training was last month,” he said. “I’m very grateful that I was able to use the skills that I’ve learned as an Air Force reservist. That’s definitely what saved the man’s life, and I’m glad I knew what to do in that situation.”

Huff said his instructors have been effective in teaching him the skills he needs to know in an emergency situation.

“In the heat of the moment, I wasn’t even really thinking; I was just doing it,” Huff said. “It was just a gut reaction.”

Huff is a member of the 22nd Air Force, Detachment 1, at the Little Rock Air Force Base.

“The Air Force keeps me busy, and I’m learning skills that are valuable,” he said. “I enjoy it very much.”

Munholland declined to talk about what happened that day.

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