Airman Insight: Maj. Matthew Mullinix

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Claire Behney
  • 193rd Special Operations Wing

Maj. Matthew Mullinix, a physicians’ assistant with the 193rd Special Operations Medical Group, was the right person in the right country at the right time while serving with the 201st RED HORSE in Lithuania last fall. During his down-time at a morale, welfare and recreation event, Mullinix encountered an emergency medical situation on a Lithuanian beach and sprang into action.

“We were at the beach when we saw two men pulling a woman, approximately in her 60s, from the water toward the beach. She was face down and not moving on her own,” said Mullinix.

Mullinix and a fellow Airman from RED HORSE, a civil engineer unit headquartered at Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, Pennsylvania, ran to assist the men in bringing the woman onto the beach, he said.

“Once she was on the beach, she was laid in the supine position and was noted to be cyanotic with eyes open and no purposeful movements,” explained Mullinix. “I noticed she was not breathing on her own and checked a carotid pulse, with no pulse noted, so I started chest compressions.”

Mullinix said he continued to perform chest compressions for what seemed like several minutes, while another Airman ran into a nearby bar to have emergency medical services called.

“I was about to perform mouth to mouth respirations when I noticed she had gurgling respiration. I then checked a pulse again and noticed a weak pulse,” he said.

Mullinix said several RED HORSE Airmen performed crowd control as the event drew a lot of attention. Local beach patrol arrived on scene a few minutes later to help provide medical aid until EMS crews arrived.  

The woman was transported to a medical facility. Mullinix was later notified by local Lithuanian forces that she survived the incident.

“Mullinix epitomizes the citizen Airman, embodies integrity, service before self and excellence in all he does. He is a valuable member of our medical team here at the 193rd Special Operations Medical Group,” said Col. Julie Carpenter, 193rd SOMDG commander.

“Most people don’t survive an incident of this kind, but thanks to the heroic efforts of Matt Mullinix that day, he made a difference,” Carpenter added. “This speaks not only of his clinical expertise and capability, but also of his moral character and fortitude.”

Mullinix has been nominated for a Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Medal for his actions that day.