THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Service before self is more than a core value, it becomes a lifestyle, reports a spokesperson from the US Air Force base at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk. It's a value embodied both on and off base by two Liberty Wing Airmen that recently intervened during life-threatening vehicle crashes in the community.
Senior Airman Adam Bailey, 48th Component Maintenance Squadron fuel systems journeyman, and Master Sgt. Kevin Green, 48th Security Forces Squadron section chief of operations, were near the scenes of two different motorcycle collisions and responded to help the injured of these accidents.
On July 5th, Bailey initially saw the accident while driving near base, thought it was just a fall and pulled over enough to force other cars to go around him while he assisted the rider.
She had broken her wrist and injured her hip and leg during the crash, with her leg being stuck in the bike. After calming her and freeing her leg from the bike, Bailey assisted her and her friend into his vehicle, making sure the woman was secure, and drove them safely to a hospital in Bury St. Edmunds.
"Adam was very calm and caring and immediately offered to take me and my friend and our bikes to the hospital stating it wasn't any trouble at all," said Ruth Hounsome, the woman Bailey assisted. "All the way there he remained calm - even when I was concerned about getting blood on his seats he wasn't bothered in the slightest."
Bailey said because of prior medical experience and training he had received from the Air Force, he was able to remain calm though the situation and properly aid the two riders.
"We used the seatbelts as a kind of sling to make sure the injury didn't get worse, and I tried to make sure she was comfortable," said Bailey.
Two weeks prior to that incident, Green arrived at the scene of another crash on June 26th. He saw the wreckage going across the road and noticed a fire had started on the bike. He immediately ran to help, finding the rider's leg in the road while the injured man lay in a ditch nearby.
Green instructed other bystanders on how to properly assist the stricken rider after making a tourniquet on his leg above the knee and loosening the straps of his helmet so he could breathe easier. After roughly 30 minutes, emergency services arrived to take the man to a hospital for further treatment.
Similarly to Bailey, Green had been in situations like this before and along with the training he received for deployments and day-to-day first aid, was able to properly respond and help the man and prolong his life long enough for medical professionals to arrive on scene.
"Being Security Forces, we go through so many different training iterations and years of experience doing high risk scenarios, you sort of become accustomed to it," said Green.
Both Airmen said they felt they needed to help because they had the ability to do so.
"When I pulled up, I saw she had a lot of bad cuts and wasn't ok. It just clicked and I thought, 'I have to go and make sure they get to where they need to,'" said Bailey
He noted that getting the people to safety, assisting with any injuries and helping them remain calm is exactly what was needed in that situation.
"Her friend was trying to dial 999, but I don't think an ambulance would've gotten there in the time it took me to just get her to the hospital myself," said Bailey.
Green stated that he assisted because he thought it was the right thing for him to do and that it would have haunted him had he not done something to assist.
"This is why we all raise our hand and enlist in the first place," said Green. "We're here by volunteering and in that scenario it was no different. I wouldn't have been able to sleep at night had I known that I could've done something and didn't."
The spokesperson added, "For Liberty Wing Airmen, their duties extend farther than just the gates of the base and taking care of their neighbors and community when needed is like second nature."