Where they were

"When the explosion happened, I decided it was time to go to the other side and help out the people that really got hurt," he said. "I had no doubt."

While others ran to safety, Arredondo ran to help.

"At [that] moment I think I was prepared to do it, in my own way," he said. "Maybe today, I'm in a different position, dealing with the whole trauma itself. But at the time, I felt what I saw was a really catastrophic event. [It] showed right there, from what I was seeing and hearing, people got hurt really serious. There was no time to waste, [so I wanted] to go and help out any way I could."

He made it across the street and started trying to tear down the metal barrier, set up to keep the crowd from the course and now serving only to keep the medical personnel from their patients.

"The first thing I did was breaking down the barrier," he said. "But not only that, I break it down and immediately I went around trying to do what I can. But when I was near Jeff Bauman, I hear somebody saying 'It's time to make tourniquets,' very loud. That was a medical personnel right there on the site, ready to tell us what to do. That's when pretty much I went into the floor, and I reached for a sweater and I ripped it apart and I passed it along to this medical personnel who was next to Jeff. And he started working on that.

"And then somebody else passed a second piece of clothing. And right there I assisted [the medical personnel], briefly grabbing [Bauman] underneath his leg, and [the medic] tied both of the tourniquets."

Once the tourniquets were on, Arredondo hoisted Bauman into a waiting wheelchair pushed by a student athletic trainer and ran beside it toward Medical Tent A. That's when a photographer snapped the famous photo, Arredondo in his cowboy hat holding the end of a tourniquet on what's left of Bauman's right leg.

"At one point, that particular side of the tourniquet got caught up in the wheel when we started running in the street," Arredondo said. "So we ended up stopping for a moment, the young lady who was pushing the wheelchair and myself stopped to rip it off from the wheel. And I redo it one more time right there and then we continue pushing [him toward] the ambulance."

MELIDA ARREDONDO LOST sight of her husband in the seconds after the blasts. But she knew where he was.

"I was sitting a little farther up in the [grandstands], so the stampede [started] especially after the second one. I was concerned that I was gonna get stepped on or that the stands would fall, because they were wobbling an awful lot," she said. "So I sat down, and a gentleman who had been a first responder -- he was a fireman from New York, he was standing with us -- I grabbed onto him and said, 'Please help me down.' Once I got down I looked over where Carlos was and I knew that he was already in there. Because that's his way. He's always been a helper.

"I went to stand in a place [by the Central Library] where I knew that Carlos would find me," she said. "So I stood there about not even 10 minutes, maybe a little over 5 minutes. After he had assisted Jeff, he saw me. He was coming from the ambulances, where he had left Jeff. And we hugged.

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