Swim routine turns into lifesaving mission for DLIELC student

  • Published
  • By Agnes Koterba
  • DLIELC Strategic Communication

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Korean student, Lieutenant Ha, who recently graduated from the Defense Language Institute English Language Center here, tested his skills during an everyday workout routine at the Skylark Aquatic Center in December.

As a member of the Korean Search & Rescue (Navy) team, Ha learned cardiopulmonary resuscitation and operating an automated external defibrillator during training.

When a swimmer stopped breathing, Ha and a Skylark lifeguard recognized the distress signs. Both acted quickly executing lifesaving measures through CPR and by applying the AED unit to the unresponsive swimmer.

Another bystander assisted the team and called emergency personnel as Ha and the lifeguard continued to provide CPR.

The swimmer eventually became responsive. Ha and the lifeguard continuously asked the swimmer how she was doing to assess her condition and reactions. As EMS arrived and attended to the situation, Ha noticed her vision become more focused and that she was able to communicate with those around her.

Ha’s work as part of the rescue operation team prepared him to provide search and rescue in rivers, lakes, and oceans. His three-year training helped save a life, while attending DLIELC, during his day-to-day exercises.  

“People told me that I’m a hero. I don’t think like that because I did what I had to being there. I think it’s my job,” Ha said. “The most important thing is that the swimmer is in good condition. I appreciate that at that time I knew how to do CPR,” he added.

DLIELC builds security cooperation capability through English language training and cultural immersion for more than 3,500 international military students annually. DLIELC serves more than 100 countries and provides support to more than 30 nonresident locations worldwide.

(Editor's note: The international military student's full name was not included at his request)