Air Force

March 7, 2014

Airman’s bravery earns Portrait of Courage

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Jake Carter
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Maj. Robert S. Thrower, 315th Weapons Squadron operations officer, was recognized in the Portraits in Courage volume eight for his heroic actions. Thrower received the recognition after saving 48 high school students and six faculty members before a bus wheel well exploded.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, NEV. — An Airman from Nellis AFB saved the lives of 48 high school students and six faculty members before a bus wheel well exploded March 24, 2012.

Maj. Robert S. Thrower, 315th Weapons Squadron operations officer, was on his way to pick up his daughter when he noticed something wrong with the bus.

“I was on my way to pick up my daughter who was on her way home from a two day field trip from California,” Thrower said. “She had called me to pick her up and when I was at a stop light, the bus was passing. I took a right turn and I saw smoke coming from the back thinking it was the engine overheating.”

When Thrower continued to follow the bus, he noticed that the smoke had become a fire in the back left wheel well.

“The bus then slowed down and took a left turn in front of me. I could see the back left wheel well and the fire,” Thrower said. “I hopped out of the car and ran to the front [of the bus to notify] the bus driver.”

While everyone was evacuating the bus, Thrower ran to put out the fire, but not without the help of another individual.

“I met up with Jason Sylvester on the other side of the bus, and he so happened to have a fire extinguished with him,” Thrower said. “He was just another parent there to pick up his daughter as well, and he and I were the ones that went back to the bus wheel well before it exploded.”

When both had attempted to put out the fire when the explosion occurred, both had sustained injuries from the blast.
“He was hurt much worse than I was,” Thrower said. “He had to get emergency surgery that night and he was not conscious after the explosion.”

Thrower was lifted into the air and landed on his back not knowing what injuries he suffered when the bus exploded.

“On the top part of my leg, I received a laceration, but I’m not sure what hit me in the leg,” Thrower said. “It ended up breaking my leg right below the knee, they call it a plateau tibial fracture, and I ended up getting a couple screws put in to repair it.”

When the wheel well exploded, Thrower didn’t know where his daughter was sitting on the bus.

According to the Portraits in Courage website, Throwers daughter had been sitting at the back of the bus.

“Obviously my daughter being on board the bus influenced my actions, but it was the emergency procedures training that I received in the Air Force that enabled me to act without hesitation,” Thrower said. “I was scared, but with 20 years in the Air Force, I didn’t think, I reacted.”

Thrower was selected for Portrait in Courage as well as the Airmen’s medal for his actions.

“It is an unbelievable honor and very humbling to be associated with the other selectees in Portraits in Courage,” Thrower said.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

LRS fuels Nellis’ mission success

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Staff Sgt. Mike Radcliff, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron crew chief, and Airman 1st Class Patrick Fields, 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels mobile distribu...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Adarius Petty

Creech heats up

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Adarius Petty The Nellis-Creech Fire Emergency Services Flight’s Fire Station 6 personnel applaud the speaker during the Fire Station 6 ribbon cutting ceremony at Creech Air Force Base, N...
 
 

Aviation pioneer in Las Vegas

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — During World War II, aviation opportunities literally exploded as the military trained hundreds of thousands of individuals to fly, opening the door to many who might never have had the chance before. Among this group were women pilots, many of whom trained and flew as civil service pilots with...
 

 

Rosie the Riveter and me

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. — As we recognize Women’s History Month this March, I am struck by the thought that heroes and role models do not have to be one single person but, in fact, can be several people. For me, this truth is especially relevant. During World War II, many women opted to...
 
 
DT1-(10)

Ground broken for new solar array at Nellis Air Force Base

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler Col. Richard Boutwell, 99th Air Base Wing commander, speaks at a ground breaking ceremony for a new solar array at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., March 24. The new array will ...
 
 
Photo courtesy of retired Master Sgt. Phillip Sisneros

Darkest before dawn: Retired master sergeant, active duty wife share struggle of overcoming TBI

Photo courtesy of retired Master Sgt. Phillip Sisneros Then Master Sgt. Phillip Sisneros, 99th Communications Squadron comm focal point chief, lays in a coma following a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas on Aug. 13, 2011. Sisner...
 




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