News | Jan. 16, 2018

Quick thinking enables DLA Aviation employee to save another employee’s life

By Leon Moore DLA Aviation Public Affairs

In life, there are some dates you never want to forget; a family member’s birthday, your wedding anniversary, a tax deadline. Well for Terri Parker, Nov. 1, 2017 is a day she said she will never forget.

“I saw him sitting at the table in the bay kitchen area in a daze. I said good morning and there was no response. I said good morning again and his response was not a normal response,” she said.

Parker, a program analyst within the Fusion Operations Division of Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s Customer Operations Directorate, said the person she saw sitting at that table in the L-Bay kitchen in Building 31 was her friend DeWitt Johnson, a customer accounts specialist in the same directorate, but from the Marine Customer Facing Division.

She said when Johnson, a normally outgoing and friendly guy, didn’t respond, she knew something was wrong. Parker also noticed he was sweating profusely. After telling someone to call 9-1-1, Parker sprang into action.

“I unzipped his sweater so he could cool down. I also wiped the sweat from his face and held him close to my hip so if he collapsed, he would not fall and hit his head,” she said.

When crews from DLA Installation Operations at Richmond’s Fire and Emergency Services arrived, which Parker estimates was within two minutes, she said she told them to check Johnson’s sugar because he is diabetic. Sure enough, his numbers were dangerously low.

Parker said it wasn’t until after emergency personnel took Johnson to the hospital, that she realized things could have turned out much differently.

“Once my adrenalin rush came down, I was so filled with emotions, I just cried. I was so thankful to God that I actually stopped, paid attention and assisted someone in dire need. I would say to others to please stop, pay attention to people and your surroundings because it could be lifesaving,” she said.

A fact not lost on Johnson, who said he is just happy Parker was there for him when he needed her the most.

“I will be forever thankful to Terri for her quick reaction and having the courage to quickly respond to my potentially deadly situation without a second thought. The quality of being brave is something we all should value and use to help others when they need it,” said Johnson.