Gamer uses virtual medic training to help save a life

America's ArmyI just got an email from the people behind America’s Army (you know, that free US Army FPS) talking about an event late last year where a gamer saved a life due to knowledge he gained while playing the game.

Twenty-eight year old Paxton Galvanek was driving home on the I-40, about 25 miles south of Raleigh, NC when he witnessed an SUV lose control a flip over several times. While his wife called 911, he stopped the car and ran over to see if he could help.

Noticing two people in the car, he quickly freed them from the smoking wreckage and pulled them to safety. One of the men had only minor injuries, and Paxton took him away from the wreckage and warned him to stay clear of the smoking vehicle. The other man, however, was not so lucky. Paxton noticed he was bleeding profusely due to several missing fingers, and appeared to be suffering from severe head trauma.

Paxton took him clear of the vehicle, found a towel and kept it pressed against the man’s lost fingers, and examined the head injury to determine what he could do to help. He decided the head injury wasn’t as serious, so focused on the hand, telling the man to sit down, relax, and lift his hand high above his head. Five minutes later a soldier in plain clothing arrived on the scene and took over, informing Paxton that he had done all the right things and thanks to him the badly injured man wasn’t in any immediate danger. With the ambulance on the way, Paxton went back to his car, and continued his drive home.

Some time after the incident, Paxton wrote the people behind America’s Army, thanking them for the medical training in the game he had used to possibly save a stranger’s life. "I have received no prior medical training and can honestly say that because of the training and presentations within America’s Army, I was able to help and possibly save the injured men. As I look back on the events of that day, the training that I received in the America’s Army video game keeps coming to mind," he wrote.

"I remember vividly in section four of the game’s medic training, during the field medic scenarios, I had to evaluate the situation and place priority on the more critically wounded. In the case of this accident, I evaluated the situation and placed priority on the driver of the car who had missing fingers. I then recalled that in section two of the medic training, I learned about controlled bleeding. I noticed that the wounded man had severe bleeding that he could not control. I used a towel as a dressing and asked the man to hold the towel on his wound and to raise his hand above his head to lessen the blood flow which allowed me to evaluate his other injuries which included a cut on his head."

Said Casey Wardynski, the project director for America’s Army, "Paxton is a true hero. We are pleased to have played a role in providing the lifesaving training that he employed so successfully at the scene."

Well done, Mr. Galvanek.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.