Posted: Oct 31, 2013 4:24 PM by Nathan O'Neal
Updated: Oct 31, 2013 7:23 PM
ELOY, Ariz. - Eight Airmen from the 48th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base were the first to provide care to victims of a 21-car pileup near Picacho Peak Tuesday.
According to a spokesperson for Davis-Monthan AFB, the Airmen were traveling past the scene and decided to stop and help.
"We didn't exactly know how big the crash site was because how bad the dust was - visibility as pretty poor," said Tyler, a pararescuer.
"We were driving down Frontage Road when we saw the pile-up," said Caleb, 48th Rescue Squadron combat rescue officer. "We noticed that there were police on either end, but no emergency medical services or rescue at the crash site."
The Airmen credit their training and experience as a way to cope and remain calm in a chaotic setting.
For Wes, who just completed his training, this was his first real-world experience.
"It was the worst accident I've ever seen in my life. There were so many 18-wheelers... cars just crumpled up in between... it was terrible," Wes told News 4 Tucson.
The Airmen administered medical aid to more than 20 people injured in the crash that took place on October 29. Along with rescuing 5 people from vehicles, they also coordinated four medical helicopter flights and organized ground transportation for other injured individuals.
However, the Airmen had to work with what was available, cutting through fences to get to the crash site and giving much-needed care to victims - some of whom were trapped in their crushed cars.
"We had very limited resources so in this case, we did a lot of improvisation," said Dave, who has served on the Air Force fo 23 years. "We grabbed pipes off the side of the road to use as pry bars... at one point we used a cardboard box as a splint."
Click here to submit a news tip to us!
Become a Facebook Fan!
Help those in need this holiday season
Win! Win! Win!
Wise Local Marketing!
Get news, weather and more on your smartphone and tablet!
Get texts for news, traffic, deals and more!
Sign up on KVOA.com for newsletters, exclusive deals, and more!
What's happening on News 4 @ 4
Stories and videos with Kristi's Kids
Check out the latest events FC Tucson has scheduled.
Let us help grow your business
Digital Channel 4.2
What's on KVOA and when!
Contact info for our department heads
KVOA's on air personalities!
Work at News 4 Tucson
Complete feeds of all KVOA.com stories
FCC Public File of Records, Reports, and More