Hero of the Week: soldier becomes first responder during crash on Italian highway
July 8, 2021

Sgt. 1st Class Chantley Kiser assisting with a car crash in Vincenza, Italy, Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (Photo by Christina Piosa)

This week we recognize the selfless actions of Sgt. 1st Class Chantley Kiser. He stayed calm under pressure, and showed what others over self is all about. Here is his story:

On Wednesday, July 7, traffic unexpectedly halted on the autostrada just outside of Genoa, Italy.

A car had flipped and was laying in the middle of the road, providing traffic behind it with a clear view of what was causing the delay. Inside the vehicle was a mother who had been driving, her son who was in the passenger seat, and the grandmother of the family who was riding in the back.

Sgt. 1st Class Chantley Kiser, a non-commissioned officer from U.S. Army Health Center in Vincenza, was among those in traffic as she heard calls urging for a medic. Kiser was on a bus filled with other Americans who had just visited Genoa’s aquarium when the accident occurred.The bus expedition was a part of the U.S. Army Garrison’s Family and Morale Welfare & Recreation trip to Genoa with the Outdoor Recreation program.

Kiser, a medical Soldier with 20 years of trauma experience, rushed to assess the scene. He retrieved a first aid kit from the bus and sprung to help those in the upside-down vehicle.

The other bus passengers got out at this point and helped to direct traffic, while Kiser and a nearby Italian doctor helped the crash victims. The mother crawled out with some assistance. The grandmother was also pulled out, but was clearly bruised and had a painful-looking contusion on the back of her head.

The young man in the car was in the worst position; he had multiple broken bones, and blood was streaming down from a wound on his head. Kiser did not have access to the necessary equipment to extract the son, so she was forced to bandage his broken bones while he was still in the car. The son was eventually airlifted to the hospital, a decision made by paramedics who arrived shortly after Kiser had begun attending to the family.

The identities and condition of those involved in the crash is unknown, but without the actions of Kiser, it is likely that the situation would have been much worse.

In Kiser’s words, “Everybody can have some part to play. There is always somewhere you can help.”

A video of the aftermath of the crash can be seen here:


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