NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. â€” Members of the 66th and 58th Rescue Squadrons were recognized with commendations from the city of Henderson, Nev. May 1, 2012 for their efforts aiding an injured Nevada motorist in August 2011.
On August 22, 2011, nine Airmen aboard a HH-60G, Pave Hawk helicopter returning from a training mission noticed distressed vehicle undergoing an accident on Interstate 15.Â The Pave Hawk crew landed near the vehicle and rushed to aid the driver, Russell Lamb.
â€œ(Senior Airman Joshua) Degenhardt and I were sitting in the door flying approach for home, when he nudged me and pointed out a dump truck swerving on the I-15 northbound lane,â€ said Tech. Sgt. Jeff Hedglin,58th Rescue Squadron, Pararescue Jumper Team Lead. â€œThe truck got more and more erratic until the back tire blew out and we witnessed it swerve out of control onto the median.â€
Lambâ€™s vehicle hit an elevated mound of dirt and went airborne before flipping end over end and rolling to a stop on the I-15.
The PJ team witnessed the incident and decided the driver of the vehicle was in need of serious medical attention.
â€œWe had a full alert load on board with extrication equipment and I said we should land immediately as all traffic had stopped and he would most likely need us to extricate him from the wreckage and need medical attention,â€ Hedglin said.
Lamb was on his fifth trip of the day in the 10-wheeled dump truck when a multiple tire rupture caused the vehicle to overturn. Upon later review of his vehicle two of the ten tires remained in functioning condition.
When members of the Pave Hawk crew upon arrived on scene they assessed Lambâ€™s condition and began immediate medical treatment on him. Although the Crew prepared to load Lamb for air transport, they were instead able to help get Lamb into an arriving ambulance.
â€œ(Staff Sgt.) Aran Hook advised that he was stable and capable of waiting for the ambulanceâ€ Hedglin said. â€œThe three PJâ€™s had him packaged up in no time and gave a detailed debrief for the ambulance crew.â€
Lamb was transported to the University Medical Center Trauma Center with four fractured ribs, a severely bruised abdomen, laceration under his right eye, and a punctured lung. He was later assessed with a torn rotator cuff, torn labrum, and separated shoulder.
Lamb underwent surgery Oct. 19, 2011, and is in good condition.
Lamb said he was thankful he had his seatbelt on and that the Airmen were there.
Cleanup of the event took two days and spanned a quarter mile.
â€œI commend and recognize these Airmen for ensuring the safety of people and property and coming to the aid of our employee,â€ said Mayor Andy Hafen, of the City of Henderson, Nev.