HomeNewsArticle Display

Vandenberg Airmen help rescue family after car crash

Senior Airman Sarah Cabrera, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center administrator, and Staff Sgt. Bryan Karason, the 30th Force Support Squadron NCO in charge of assignments, recently helped rescue a family from a car wreck Oct. 25, 2015, in Goleta, Calif. After assessing the situation, the Airmen instinctively sprung to action using basic self-aid and buddy care techniques. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kyla Gifford)

Senior Airman Sarah Cabrera, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center administrator, and Staff Sgt. Bryan Karason, the 30th Force Support Squadron NCO in charge of assignments, recently helped rescue a family from a car wreck Oct. 25, 2015, in Goleta, Calif. After assessing the situation, the Airmen instinctively sprung to action using basic self-aid and buddy care techniques. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kyla Gifford)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- A pair of Vandenberg Air Force Base Airmen helped rescue a family after a car crash in Goleta, California, on Oct. 25.

Staff Sgt. Bryan Karason, the 30th Force Support Squadron NCO in charge of assignments, and Senior Airman Sarah Cabrera, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center administrator, noticed what looked like flames on the side of the road while driving along Highway 101.

"As we drove a little closer we noticed there was an enormous dust cloud that was generated from a car that had swerved off the road and onto a hill off the expressway, causing it to flip over," Karason said.

Karason immediately pulled his car over and swiftly approached the scene with Cabrera.

"Initially approaching the car I assumed that everyone was out of the car but then I saw a gentleman kicking open the rear passenger door," he said. "Cabrera yelled for one of the members at the scene to call 911. Arriving to the car, the gentleman was in shock and was expressing that there were more individuals located inside the vehicle. He didn't speak English so Cabrera helped with the language barrier and started to communicate in Spanish."

After quickly assessing the situation, the Airmen sprung to action using self-aid and buddy care techniques.

"I saw a young girl in the backseat, and also heard the screaming of a woman coming from the front passenger seat," Karason said. "Another individual on the scene assisted me with getting the young girl out, and while he tended to her, I responded to the woman and got her out of the passenger seat. Once cleared from the wrecked car, we laid her flat on a blanket, treated her for shock and made sure she didn't move any part of her body to prevent more bodily injury."

When the first responders and paramedics arrived on scene, Cabrera was the only person on site who was able to overcome the language barrier and translate for the victims.

"The cops took me to the side to tell me questions to ask the victims," Cabrera said. "What were their names, dates of birth, current address and other important information they needed."

Cabrera said she’s thankful for her military experience that helped her triumph in a difficult situation.

"We practice situational awareness on and off base, and in this case it happened to be off base," she said. "We put our training to the test, and were able to quickly assess the situation and pull a family out of the car to safety."

Cabrera hopes this situation will help shine light on the importance of Air Force training and expand knowledge about different languages and cultures.

"Not only does it open up a new world of opportunities for your career and for yourself, but you never know when you will actually use it," Cabrera said. "In this situation, I was the only one communicating between the crash victims and first responders -- because I knew a second language, I was able to help."

The two Airmen remain humble, attributing their quick thinking to military training and experience.

"I would have to say the training the Air Force has provided just took over," Karason said. "I just felt like I knew what to do and what had to be done, and with the help of Cabrera and a couple other individuals we were able to assist the best we could."

Providing fast and effective care, while assisting and supporting the family, Karason and Cabrera proved the quality of today's American Airmen.

"I am a firm advocate that in our training, you practice how you play," Karason said. "When we are called on, there is no confusion, we just act."

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Watch a @usairforce KC-10A refuel, and be refueled during same mission in support of @CJTFOIR. #Togetherwdeliver #NKAWTG #…
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri
RT @USAFReserve: Loadmaster first Reservist to complete USAF Weapons School Advanced Instructor Course (Story by the @403rdWing) #ReserveRe
.@secafoffical will speak about America’s footprint in space going forward at 5:45 EST. Watch live at https://t.co/aSlw5ceGJj
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @EsperDoD delivers keynote remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum. #RNDF https://t.co/ZXhuaTOQTm
Today, we help Col. Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, combat veteran and American legend, celebrate 💯 sorties aroun… https://t.co/bcmcDr4IYW
December 7, 1941. #PearlHarbor and six other #military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu were attacked, beginnin… https://t.co/4GvB8yPpGV
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Take a look at @usairforce Airmen assigned to the @109thAW using their ski-equipped C-130s to deliver supplies to the Arct…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you to Gen CQ Brown & the @PACAF team for the outstanding work organizing one of largest gatherings of Pacific A…
RT @DeptofDefense: Flying side by side gets the mission done. @usairforce and @RoyalAirForce participated in exercise Point Blank with @NAT
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Getting to see a chaplain in a remote location is a #blessing. Archbishop of U.S. Military Services Timothy Broglio recently…