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SJ Airmen help during major car accident

From left, Airman 1st Class Nathan Nguyen, Airman 1st Class Austin Herder, Senior Airman Charles Black and Senior Airman Robert Walsh, all assigned to the 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels flight provided life-saving efforts to victims during a major vehicle accident near Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

From left, Airman 1st Class Nathan Nguyen, Airman 1st Class Austin Herder, Senior Airman Charles Black and Senior Airman Robert Walsh, all assigned to the 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels flight provided life-saving efforts to victims during a major vehicle accident near Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The Airmen called 9-1-1, provided self-aid buddy care and ensured the victims safety from oncoming traffic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Victoria Boyton)


After a long day of volunteering to raise money for their flight’s holiday party, four Airmen encountered victims of a car crash in need of help.


“We stepped out of our vehicle and the first thing we heard was ‘I can’t find my daughter,” recalled Senior Airman Robert Walsh, 4th Logistic Readiness Squadron fuels specialist.


It was 2:00 a.m. on a busy highway road when the Airmen noticed a car crash involving two vehicles, one of which appeared to have rolled over several times causing two passengers to be ejected from the vehicle as it rolled, added Walsh.  


“There were cars and semi-trucks flying by,” stated Senior Airman Charles Black, 4th LRS fuels specialist. “We were the only ones that stopped.”


The Airmen called 9-1-1, then proceeded to locate and help the victims. While waiting for first responders to arrive, the Airmen used their self-aid buddy care skills to help treat and calm the victims.


“It felt like forever before the police arrived,” said Walsh. “We were managing the situation as best as possible. It was really good to have Black because he has prior medical knowledge.”


As a volunteer firefighter for a local volunteer fire department, Black used his formal training to help the most severe victim, a young girl, who had been ejected from the vehicle during the crash.


Airman 1st Class Austin Herder and Airman 1st Class Nathan Nguyen, also from the 4th LRS fuels flight, helped locate and provide care for the other victims and their family members on scene.


“Managing the situation was probably one of the things I could credit to my Air Force training,” stated Walsh. “The Air Force teaches you to take hold of the situation and be a leader.”


Once authorities arrived, the Airmen were able to proceed back to base. The Airmen may never know what happened to the victims of the crash.


“These Airmen exemplified the Air Force core values when others needed them the most,” said Master Sgt. Ben Holt, 4th LRS fuels information service center section chief. “They really embodied what we as leaders try to convey to all Airmen: doing the right thing when no one is looking, doing a selfless act to help a fellow human out.”


By lending a helping hand for their flight’s holiday party and also stopping roadside to help strangers, these all-star Airmen showed no hesitation in aiding those in need, added Holt.


“In a split second, I would do it again,” stated Walsh. “We helped in some way.”

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