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Reservists respond to vehicle accident, help save lives

  • Published
  • By Minnie Jones
  • 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
After completing two combined training assemblies, four 433rd Airlift Wing Airmen began a three-hour journey home to Houston, Texas, Aug 16., when they came upon an automobile accident on Interstate Highway 10.

Maj. Angella Mudd and Master Sgt. Shanita Campbell, both assigned to the 433rd Aeromedical Staging Squadron; Tech. Sgt. McKenly Matson from the 433rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, and Airman 1st Class Alejandro Villarreal from the 433rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, were on the scene minutes after the accident occurred.

The four Reservists immediately stopped to render care to the injured passengers and performed skills learned from Self-Aid Buddy Care until medical crews arrived on scene.

The five adults and one nine-year-old child in the vehicle were heading to Vidor, Texas, when the driver lost control after a tire blew out. The rollover accident ejected two of the six passengers.

When Mudd and Campbell arrived on the scene, their military and medical backgrounds automatically kicked in and they immediately began establishing command. The first order of business was determining who needed attention, through triage.

Mudd a six-year veteran with two deployments under her belt, took the lead on the scene and attributed her leadership ability to the Air Force.

"My training in battlefield care made a huge difference when it came to treating the wounded," she said. In her civilian capacity, Mudd is the director of perinatal services, labor and delivery at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Sugarland, Texas.

Campbell, an aerospace medical technician who assisted with performing triage and treatment to the injured, believed the emergency medical technical refresher training, which she performed during the four-day UTA, honed her skills and prepared her for even more at the scene. Campbell, who has served almost 20 years in the Air Force, is an executive secretary at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston.

Tech. Sgt. Matson and Airman First Class Villarreal assisted with aiding and transporting the wounded.

Villarreal climbed into the overturned vehicle and pulled the nine-year-old boy from the back seat of the car. The boy had a broken leg. Villarreal is a student and attends the University of Houston.

Matson, an aircraft electrical and environmental systems technician, assisted in treating the wounds of one victim thrown from the vehicle.

All of the wounded were transported to local hospitals in the San Antonio area, three by helicopter, and the other two by ambulance. One individual did not sustain any injuries.

All four of the 433rd AW Airmen, along with a civilian registered nurse, stayed at the scene and continued to assist emergency medical personnel until the last ambulance left.

All Airmen accredited their leadership and teamwork to the Air Force and SABC training.

At the end of this horrific accident, all members had one thing on their minds: the welfare of the all of the individuals in the accident and the aftercare. When asked what made them stop to render care, they agreed unanimously that if it had been one of their families, they would want someone to stop and do the same.

"That day, what we did is truly representative of what the Air Force stands for: service before self. Those Airmen that day represented the Air Force with honor and dignity," Mudd said.