Received this through the military moms network:

THE PITSENBARGER AWARD ANNUALLY RECOGNIZES AN AIR FORCE ENLISTED MEMBER WHO HAS PERFORMED A HEROIC ACT, ON OR OFF DUTY, WHICH RESULTED IN THE SAVING OF LIFE OR THE PREVENTION OF SERIOUS INJURY. SERGEANT PAYNE [STAFF SERGEANT ROBERT M. PAYNE] DISPLAYED REMARKABLE HEROISM ON THE MORNING OF 11 AUGUST 2006 IN RISKING HIS OWN LIFE TO SAVE A CRITICALLY WOUNDED CIVILIAN MOTORIST TRAPPED IN A MANGLED, FIRE-RAVAGED VEHICLE. SERGEANT PAYNE WAS DRIVING TO WORK AROUND 0700-HOURS WHEN HE CAME UPON A VIOLENT TWO-CAR CRASH ON A RURAL HIGHWAY. SEEING THAT THE DRIVER OF ONE OF THE VEHICLES WAS UNCONSCIOUS AND WITHOUT HESITATION, HE APPROACHED THE CAR JUST AS IT EXPLODED INTO FLAMES. DESPITE BURNING FUEL, RANCID, SPRAYING LIQUIDS AND HEAVY SMOKE, HE RACED AGAINST THE CLOCK TO ASSIST THE STRICKEN MALE MOTORIST, WHO WAS BREATHING BUT UNCONSCIOUS. AFTER STRUGGLING TO GET TO THE VICTIM THROUGH THE JAGGED, BENT WINDOW, HE BEGAN PROVIDING FIRST-AID TO THE MOTORIST, WHO WAS BLEEDING WITH SEVERE HEAD TRAUMA. BECAUSE OF THE RURAL LOCATION, THE ESTIMATED RESPONSE TIME FOR AN AMBULANCE WAS 45-MINUTES, SO SERGEANT PAYNE INSTEAD CALLED OFFICIALS ON HIS CELLULAR TELEPHONE AND ASKED FOR A CARE FLIGHT AEROMEDICAL HELICOPTER. FOR THE NEXT 30-MINUTES, SERGEANT PAYNE CARED FOR THE DISABLED MOTORIST UNTIL FIREFIGHTERS FINALLY ARRIVED. SERGEANT PAYNE'S SWIFT ACTIONS AND CRITICAL DECISION-MAKING WERE LAUDED BY LOCAL CIVILIAN AUTHORITIES AND ON-SCENE RESCUE PROFESSIONALS AS KEY TO SAVING THE LIFE OF THE STRICKEN MOTORIST.


How many of us would have done this? My first thought was, if it had been most of us (no shame, no blame, just tellin' it like it is) we would have sped past the crash before the assistance came and caused a traffic jam. Or to avoid being called in court as a witness. Even the nosy amoung us probably wouldn't have done what this guy did. My hat's off to Sergeant Payne. Not only is he a hero for this action, but he's also caused me to rethink my own actions, and who knows- that might just save another life down the road!