When a 12-year-old boy jumped off an overpass in New York, a National Guard soldier was there to help.
Spc. Nicole McKenzie was driving home from the Yonkers armory when she saw a flash of red going over the guardrail on the Saw Mill Parkway, according to an Army news release.
"I saw what looked like the outline of a boy going over the side," McKenzie said in the release. "I knew something was wrong."
The cable systems installer and maintainer with A Company, 101st Signal Battalion immediately pulled over to see how she could help.
McKenzie ran to the edge of the overpass, where a police officer was also assessing the scene — then McKenzie saw a boy lying on the rocks below.
The soldier and police officer ran down the overpass, climbing over a fence and dropping 10 feet to the ground in order to reach the boy, the release said.
McKenzie learned the boy was from the Andrus campus in the Bronx, an organization that provides services to children with special needs and behavioral issues.
According to the release, staff from Andrus were talking to the boy when he jumped from the overpass.
McKenzie had recently finished combat lifesaver training with the National Guard, and she began to triage the boy’s injuries.
She and the police officer used splints from McKenzie’s combat lifesaver bag to secure the boy’s neck, arm and leg, the release said.
The soldier also checked his vitals and stayed until medics arrived to take the boy to the hospital.
“I wear the uniform every day because I want to help soldiers — I want to help people,” McKenzie said in the release. “This is my family.”
Charlsy is a Reporter and Engagement Manager for Military Times. Email her at email@example.com.