SANTA RITA, Guam -- Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Pluss, an electrician's mate assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable, was driving along Route 1 here July 16 when he noticed a car accident and an unresponsive victim lying on the street.
Pluss' military training kicked in, and he administered CPR to the victim until first responders arrived on the scene.
"In the moment, I didn't know if he had passed," Pluss said. "My thought was, 'This could be something to save his life. He may not be responding now, but once all the available medical personnel and more equipment arrives, they may be able to save him based off of what I was doing.'"
As an electrician's mate, Pluss receives CPR training every two to three years.
"One of the things we're worried about is someone getting shocked, which could stop your heart ...," he said. "I've always had the thought process, growing up, that if I could help someone in any way, I'm going to try. I did it because I believed it was what was right to do."
Navy Capt. Jeffrey Farah, the commander of the USS Cable, awarded Pluss with the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal July 18.
"Pluss is a hard-working sailor in our repair department," Farah said. "The award was given because of his heroism, but he's also doing hard work every single day while he's here. Usually, we reserve [that award] for an end-of-tour completion."
Pluss said it was his Navy training that kept him ready in the moment.
"I knew I had been trained and, once I noticed, it naturally kicked in," he said. "There was no point where I was like, 'Do I need to do this? Should I do this?' It was more of, 'He's in trouble. Go help him.'"