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National Guard Soldiers Credit Training In Rescue Of Crash Victims

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FOREST PARK, Ill. (CBS) – A pair of National Guard soldiers said their training prepared them to help when a car rolled over, and then started smoking this weekend.

As Spc. Jovanta Duncan, of Plainfield, and Spc. Johanna Hernandez, of Des Plaines, headed for the Illinois National Guard armory after lunch, they spotted a crash at Roosevelt Road and Desplaines Avenue in Forest Park on Saturday.

“I saw the vehicle upside-down, and there was multiple people in the vehicle, and I knew that they were going to need some help to get out of there,” Duncan said.

He said his first instinct was to leave them inside for paramedics, to avoid aggravating any injuries they already had.

“But then car started smoking,” he said.

So Duncan crawled in the smoking car, supported one man trapped upside-down so he could release his seatbelt, then worked with Hernandez to get everyone out safely.

They said soldiers are trained year-round in first aid and survival, as well as how to make decisions under intense pressure.

“My military training played a big role in how I reacted,” said Duncan. “I assessed the situation and took action.”

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