Air Force

October 31, 2013

“It is my duty as a pararescueman to save life…”

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
FP_pict
Airmen from the 48th Rescue Squadron at D-M stand by a 19 vehicle accident on Interstate 10 near Picacho Peak, Ariz., Oct. 29. The Airmen extracted five people from vehicles, coordinated four medical helicopter flights, and organized ground transportation for about six injured individuals.

Eight Airmen from the 48th Rescue Squadron at D-M were first responders on a 19 vehicle accident involving more than 20 people on Interstate 10 near Picacho Peak, Ariz., Oct. 29.

Six pararescueman, a combat rescue officer and a communications specialist were driving through a dust storm with reduced visibility after jump training in Eloy, Ariz. when they drove by the accident.

“We were driving down Frontage Road when we saw the pile-up,” said Caleb, 48th Rescue Squadron combat rescue officer. “We noticed there were police on either end, but no emergency, medical or rescue services at the crash site.”

The Airmen witnessed an individual from the accident walk down the hill from the freeway and then fall down. They consulted with each other and made the decision to turn around and offer their assistance.

When they pulled over to the side of the road, they talked to a sheriff. Lucas, 48th Rescue Squadron pararescueman, identified himself as a U.S. Air Force pararescueman with seven paramedics and asked if the sheriff needed help.

“The sheriff said ‘Right now, I got three dead and five critical, help as fast as you can,’” Lucas said. “At that point, we completely unloaded both of our vehicles.”

They suited up with helmets, goggles and gloves and headed into the scene with what medical gear they had. The first thing they noticed was fuel leaking onto the road and under vehicles.

“We immediately noticed three or four vehicles with trapped personnel,” said Caleb. “We assessed them and their situations and started getting people out using basic tools and equipment.”

With the Airmen being some of the first on scene, they improvised with knives, crowbars and any other objects they could locate to extract people from their vehicles.

They were on scene about 15 minutes before emergency medical services arrived and 30 minutes before heavy extrication equipment showed up.

They triaged, splinted and provided medical care to more than 20 individuals at the crash scene. Additionally, they provided emotional support to patients.

If you find something that will bring a patient comfort, give it to them, said Lucas. Even just going back and asking ‘How are you doing Stanley?’ brought them comfort simply because their name was not forgotten.

The Airmen extracted five people from vehicles, coordinated four medical helicopter flights, and organized ground transportation for about six injured individuals.

After the critically injured were transported off scene, the Airmen collected all of their gear, ensured EMS no longer needed their services and continued back to D-M.

Four of the pararescuemen were right out of initial training and had never responded to a real-world situation like this before.

“I’m a Department of Training instructor,” Lucas said. “The fact these Airmen just rolled in and got it done, it’s a great feeling to know they are new and they accomplished something like this. It shows them how they can make a difference.”

All the Airmen credited their training and experience in allowing them to keep calm and render aid in conjunction with the other authorities at the scene.

“You do all these medical scenarios and train so much, sometimes you wonder, ‘Am I going to know what’s right?’” said Dan, 48th Rescue Squadron pararescueman. “When you get in there and start doing it for real, all your training pays off.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Draft Total Force Training Environmental Assessment available for public review

The revised draft Environmental Assessment for Total Force Training (formerly Operation Snowbird) was released by Air Combat Command here today. The release initiates a 30-day public comment period, which ends October 23.  Substantive public comments submitted by that date will be considered before the Air Force makes any determinations on the proposal.  These comments will...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Ash)

AF signs Total-Force Aircrew Management charter

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Senior Air Force leaders signed a Total Force Aircrew Management charter Sept. 18, during the Aircrew Summit at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, Chief of Staf...
 
 

Airmen must revalidate dependents by Dec. 31

By Dec. 31, every Airman will be required to provide their servicing finance office with documentation for all dependents as part of Air Force audit readiness efforts. This one-time, Air Force-wide recertification process will allow the Air Force to validate Airmen’s basic allowance for housing entitlements, ensuring every dollar of the $5.4 billion the Air...
 

 

Phased rollout to improve enlisted evaluation system

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force chief of enlisted force policy outlined the implementation of the new enlisted evaluation and promotion systems at the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here Sept. 17. Developed in 1968, and implemented two years later, the existing Weighted Airman Promotion System has been in...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force Photos by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey)

355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron: Maintenance Flight

The 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron’s Maintenance Flight performs phase inspections on A-10C Thunderbolt IIs after 500 flight hours. During a phase inspection, the A-10 is given a complete in-depth inspection, searching ...
 
 

Air Force Enlisted Village: Not just a place to live, a place to call home

I first visited the Air Force Enlisted Village as a young first sergeant in 2009, when I was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. I went to visit with the Tyndall Active Airmen’s Association, Tyndall’s E-1 to E-4 Professional Association, and was amazed at what I saw. This was also the first time I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin