Duke cop helps save a life
By Tech. Sgt. Sam King, 919th Special Operations Wing public affairs
/ Published December 16, 2013
DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- Even at less than 100 percent, a 919th Special Operations Wing security forces Airman was compelled to come to the aid of a seriously injured person involved in a car wreck in Gulf Breeze Fla., Oct. 24.
Senior Airman Alvon Colston wasn't having the best day. After rigorous active shooter training the day prior, Colston reported to work at Hurlburt Field, where he was on active orders, even though he was having trouble breathing.
"I took a hit to the ribs during the training and didn't know it until I woke up the next morning," said two-year veteran from Pensacola, Fla.
He was ordered to the emergency room and then released for the day to go home and rest, but that respite would have to wait.
While driving home on Hwy. 98, he said he saw a giant cloud of dust come up from the eastbound lane. As he slowed down, he saw a woman screaming for help and an overturned vehicle. He immediately stopped, crossed the highway and began to assess the situation.
"I noticed a child's life vest among the debris, so I wasn't sure if a child was involved. I immediately tried to determine how many people were involved in the accident and if everyone was accounted for," said the 22-year-old. "The scene was very chaotic and panicked. I went right into my security forces and first responder training to stay calm and get control of the scene."
There was only one person involved. According to Colston, a man travelling at a very high rate of speed, lost control of his truck and was ejected via the sunroof about 10 feet from the vehicle. He suffered two fractured femurs, a back injury and severe lacerations to his face and head. Colston said he landed about two to three inches from a tree stump.
"If he'd hit his head or neck on that stump, it could've been a lot worse, possibly paralysis," said Colston.
An off-duty sheriff's officer and a nurse also stopped to render aid. Colston used the officer's first aid kit on the man's cuts and asked the nurse to stabilize his neck.
"Those self-aid and buddy care classes paid off," said Colston smiling.
He also kept the victim conscious and gathered as much information from him as possible, like name, age, etc., to provide the emergency medical technicians when they arrived.
"I basically used the 9-line training I received when I went through basic and tech school," he said.
The man pulled through and continues to get better. Colston spoke with him in November and the man thanked him for all of his help.
Word spread fast about his heroic actions that day, reaching all the way to United States Special Operations Command. The Air Force Special Operations Command Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Bill Turner, met Colston while he was on shift at the Hurlburt Field gate and presented him with a coin. He was also recognized and coined for his heroics by Chief Master Sgt. Tom Mason, the 919th SOW command chief, and Col. Jim Phillips, the wing's commander at a recent enlisted call, here.
"(Colston) is a very humble and impressive Air Commando," said Turner. "It makes me proud to serve alongside such a great warrior Airman."