Union Pacific Welders Act Fast, Administer First Aid in Kansas

Large | Chris Cornejo and Jake Allen helped an injured motorcyclist.

From left, Kansas Welders Chris Cornejo and Jake Allen took quick action to aid an injured motorcyclist.

Responding to traffic-halting emergencies isn’t in the job description for many welders. Nonetheless, Union Pacific welders Chris Cornejo and Jake Allen went beyond their everyday duties to help others in dire need.

After a multiday work trip to Oklahoma, the two employees were eager to return to their base in Wichita, Kansas. Not on their itinerary – traffic grinding to a halt near Wellington, Kansas.

A fellow motorist described the hold-up, an accident, which badly injured a motorcyclist.

“We pulled up a little bit, and then we got more of a view up ahead,” Allen said. “We had no idea what we were walking into.”

Luckily, Cornejo has another skill under his belt – he is a licensed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Quick to respond, he grabbed his first-aid kit and began primary assessments.

Using sterile gloves and a tourniquet to stop blood flow, Cornejo worked to stabilize the rider’s major injuries. He then applied firm pressure to the back of the motorist’s head, which endured acute trauma.

“I kept pressure on his head wound, and I was looking for other major sources of bleeding around his body – on his arms, legs – he was pretty fouled up,” Cornejo said.

Providing relief from the elements, Allen offered cold water and shade to help combat the blazing afternoon heat. He also used his phone to track minutes as Cornejo checked the incoherent motorcyclist’s pulse.

Meanwhile, the other motorists repositioned their vehicles to create easy access for the inbound paramedics.

Cornejo assisted the paramedics in transferring the rider onto a gurney while stabilizing his head, neck and spine.

“He was injured pretty bad,” said Cornejo. “I just did what I could.”

Jamie Vallejo, manager-Track Maintenance, who oversees the two welders, noted with pride their excellent Courage to Care and commends their efforts: “They are both dedicated employees and hard workers.”

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