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D-M Airman receives medal for exemplary service overseas

Curacao Netherlands Antilles -- Four Airmen were awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal here Monday. 

Fire Fighters Master Sgt. Gregory Willsey, Staff Sgt. Steven LaRue, Staff Sgt. Nolan Mooney, deployed from the New York Air National Guard, and Staff Sgt. Daniel Rasmussen, deployed from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, received the medal for
exemplary service and quick thinking in administering aid to a suffering tourist. 

While having dinner Oct. 12, the Airmen were approached by their waitress who was asking for a doctor. The Airmen, all fully trained in first response, followed the waitress to a woman frantically calling for help on a nearby dock. At the end of the pier in a civilian boat was a man suffering from a full cardiac arrest. 

"Upon entering the boat, I saw a large male sitting on a bunk appearing to be unconscious and unresponsive," said Sergeant Willsey. "I checked the patient for a pulse. Finding none, I laid the patient down and immediately began CPR." 

Simultaneously and without hesitation, Sergeant Mooney monitored the patient's pulse and compressions while he and Sergeants Rasmussen and LaRue coached the women with the victim on how to give proper and effective breaths to the victim. 

As Sergeant Willsey administered CPR, the victim began showing signs of
life through some respiration. After approximately 15 minutes, and near exhaustion, Sergeant Rasmussen took over compressions. 

Twenty minutes later the local ambulance arrived with Sergeant LaRue meeting them in the restaurant parking lot to inform them of the situation. The Airmen continued to assist he patient by continuing CPR and transporting the patient from the boat to the ambulance. The patient was then handed over to the local medical response. 

"All of the Airmen have superior training and I am very proud of what they did," said Fire Chief Senior Master Sgt. Jeff Chrissley, deployed here from the New York Air National Guard.  "It doesn't matter the location of a fire fighter [in an emergency]; they are going to be a fire fighter and take care of people." 

The Air Force Achievement medal is awarded to Air Force personnel for outstanding achievement or meritorious service, rendered specifically on behalf of the Air Force. 

"These fire fighters willingly stepped up to the plate and demonstrated how all Airmen are Air Force ambassadors, on and off duty," said Lt. Col. Henry Polczer, 429th Expeditionary Operations Squadron commander. "Their efforts, like so many others in this unit, have paved the way for much goodwill in this community."