FOX21 and the American Red Cross are partnering once again to honor some Hometown Heroes – people who exemplify courage, kindness, and unselfish character. Today, we highlight the Military Hero, Specialist Jessie Tatum, who jumped into action to administer aid to a crowd after a motorcycle crashed into them during a Veteran’s Day parade.
COLORADO SPRINGS– Army Specialist Jessie Tatum never knew how he would react in an emergency until this past Veteran’s Day.
On August 17, Tatum and fellow soldier, Sergeant Alejandro Vasquez, members of Fort Carson’s 4th Infantry Division, volunteered to represent the Mountain Post in the parade in Cripple Creek.
Tatum says he watched as thousands of motorcycles drove up and over a hill. Then one stalled, hit another, then crashed into the crowd.
Specialist Tatum and Sergeant Vasquez jumped to act, evaluating the injuries, and administering aid to people who’d been hurt until paramedics arrived on scene.
“I just did the best I could do at the time,” Tatum said. “I helped stop the bleeding with a few people – a few people’s fingers were messed up. We lifted the bike off of one of the people.”
Tatum’s company commander, Captain Dallas Apotheker who also was also administering aid, says Tatum did everything right.
“Seeing a soldier just on a regular weekend back here in the states – being able to rely on his training, and actually help civilian populations is very rewarding,” said Apotheker.
“I definitely benefited having that prior knowledge to help people, help save lives,” Tatum said.
“They tell us that usually on the battlefield, the first people to see it need to have that training because it might take a long time for a medic to get there,” he explained.
All of the 2020 Hometown Heroes will be honored on Thursday at a recognition event in Colorado Springs.
To learn more about Hometown Heroes, click here.