Nottinghamshire Solider Honoured For Las Vegas Shooting Response
26 November 2018, 06:30 | Updated: 26 November 2018, 06:32
A soldier from Nottingham who rushed to the aid of those injured in the Las Vegas massacre has been decorated in the latest round of military honours.
Trooper Ross Woodward, from 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, has received the Queen's Commendation for Bravery - something he said has come as a "total surprise".
He had been enjoying a trip to the US gambling capital following a desert training exercise in Nevada when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on festival-goers at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
As bullets rained down, the 24-year-old from Beeston, who was off-duty and had been nearby, turned towards danger, and despite the chaos guided people to safety and tended to those who had been injured.
"Anyone in the military would have done the same," he told the Press Association.
"To me it just felt like the right thing to do, because people were there and needed my help, I just did not want to walk away and leave them.
"If I ever need help, I hope and pray that someone would help me."
Just weeks before they deployed on the training exercise, Trooper Woodward said they had undertaken a team medic course, meaning the skills were fresh in his mind.
Describing the incident, the father-of-one to 11-week-old Arlo said there were people "screaming, shouting, looking for loved ones" and that it was "a lot of chaos".
Asked if there was a particular moment of the ordeal which has stuck with him, Trooper Woodward said it was the first casualty he treated - a man who had been shot in the back.
"I came across a man who was in distress, in a lot of discomfort - he was on the floor," he said.
With the man in pain and struggling to breathe, Trooper Woodward discovered he had been shot in his lower left back and proceeded to try and help stop the bleeding.
"I tried to reassure him that I wasn't going to leave him, he thought I was going to go - I promised I wasn't going to go anywhere," he said.
"I stayed by him, and a few moments passed and there was no response from him - I found out that he had passed away."
Six soldiers from 1st Queen Dragoon Guards were caught up and helped in the wake of the shooting in October last year, which saw at least 58 killed and hundreds of others injured.
His award citation states that Trooper Woodward "displayed conspicuous bravery, outstanding leadership and unwavering selflessness" during the incident.
"He consciously, deliberately and repeatedly advanced towards danger, moving people to safety and treating casualties," it adds.
"There is no doubt that his assistance to the US first responders saved lives. His actions were exceptional and he is fully deserving of nation-wide recognition."