On the morning of Nov. 7, Marine Cpl. Denny Bohne was heading to the chow hall at the Marine Barracks Washington to get breakfast when he suddenly heard of an emergency call on the radio.
A woman riding a scooter just outside the gate of the historic Marine Corps base had been run over by a car.
“When you first pull up to a scene like that your mind is racing, because the rarity of someone actually being trapped under the vehicle,” firefighter Glenn Hanna, with D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Engine 18, said in a video about the accident published on the Defense Visual information Distribution Service.
Before the responding firefighters came up with a game plan, Bohne, along with Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Belko, the guard duty officer that morning, rushed into action.
“From there I just know I have to get the car off of her,” Bohne said in the video.
His attempt to save one of the victims of the accident ultimately earned him the Navy and Marine Corps Medal ― and changed his life forever.
The Marine went to the trunk of the car that had hit the woman and pulled out its jack. As he started to jack up the rear of the car, Belko ran to the car of a civilian who had stopped to help and pulled its jack out to start working on the front of the car.
“By the time we had it jacked up fire and EMS were already on scene. They pulled her out from underneath and we just kind of handed the scene over to them and went into crowd control,” Bohne said.
“We were there for whenever they needed us,” Bohne said.
The woman was able to survive the accident, an outcome that the Marines played a “integral” role in, according to the responding firefighters.
“The Marines were integral to reducing the amount of time it took for us to take care of that victim,” Lt. Leo Ruiz with Engine 18 said in the video.
“If they hadn’t done what they had done it could have delayed care,” Ruiz added.
The D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services will be presenting the Marines with a certificate of appreciation and a coin in early December for their efforts, Marine Capt. Katie Kochert, a spokeswoman for the Marine Barracks Washington, told Marine Corps Times on Monday.
“Marines run to the sound of the gun, so it didn’t surprise me at all that Marines were there,” Belko said.
But it wasn’t the Marines alone who stepped up, Belko said.
“It was a direct team effort, we had neighbors that came, passerbys had stopped to help, we had fire and EMS come,” he added.