AED rescue at Camp Atterbury

Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in central Indiana is prepared for emergencies. Its military police take healthcare provider training, and some, like Military Police Officer Spc. Stephen Strebinger go on to take combat lifesaver courses. The camp’s lifesaving equipment includes 12 Powerheartautomated external defibrillators (AEDs), deployed throughout the camp and in the MPs’ patrol vehicles.

Military Policeman saves civilian contractor's life

Military Police Officer Spc. Stephen Strebinger of South Bend Ind., was awarded the Indiana Distinguished Service Medal for using an AED on a man suffering cardiac arrest. (Photo, U.S. Army)

The AED rescue story on describes how camp’s medical emergency system was put to the test last September when a call for a medical assist came over the camp radio system. Mark Trowbridge, a civilian electronics technician working at the camp, had been discovered unconscious in the driver’s seat of his van.

Medics had been called, but Strebinger arrived first on the scene. He discovered that Trowbridge was not breathing, and had no pulse.

“Look, listen, feel, just like in training,” recalled Strebinger in an interview with He grabbed the AED from his patrol vehicle, opened Trowbridge’s shirt, and was placing the defibrillator pads on Trowbridge as the camp medics arrived.

The AED diagnosed the heart rhythm and determined a shock was advised. Strebinger initiated the shock, and Trowbridge’s heartbeat was restored — but he failed to start breathing. Strebinger and the medics then gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and waited for the helicopter from the regional hospital to arrive.

When rain grounded the helicopter, they continued resuscitation and waited for an ambulance. By the time the civilian ambulance arrived, Trowbridge was breathing again.

Trowbridge has since recovered, and returned to work at Camp Atterbury. Strebinger was awarded the Indiana Distinguished Service Medal for his quick actions and tactical expertise.

 The Powerheart AED G3 Pro has just been awarded Airworthiness Release from the U.S. Military