Reservists save life of Tinker teammate

  • Published
  • 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Three Reserve Airmen from the 507th Force Support Squadron here worked together to save the life of a contractor electrician following a near fatal electric shock Oct. 24 during the November unit training assembly.

Senior Airmen Thomas Stege, Victoria Slaughter and Khoa Dang, all radio frequency transmission systems technicians in the 507th Air Refueling Wing, used rapid thinking to resuscitate a member of Team Tinker after he was shocked while upgrading electrical infrastructure on the 507th ARW campus.

“We were in the communications warehouse when we heard a loud pop and then someone screaming,” said Stege. “We went around back and saw an electrician on the ground and in distress.”

The three Airmen divided up, knowing that acting expeditiously was key to saving the man’s life. Stege stayed at the scene, Slaughter ran to the communications office to get help and Dang called for installation emergency services.

“I ran inside to get help and we were able to get ahold of the police,” Slaughter said, “When I came back outside, Stege had started CPR.”

Stege, who is currently studying health and exercise science at Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma, assessed that the man was not breathing, and with the help of another electrician, moved the man to a safe area to begin CPR.

“My emergency response training told me what I needed to do,” Stege said. “I started doing CPR and continued for about four minutes until security forces arrived. Around that time, he began to breathe on his own and was in and out of consciousness for the next five minutes.”

Stege and Dang both enlisted in the Air Force Reserve 2018 and Slaughter joined in 2019.

The Airmen have been submitted for awards for their bravery in a situation that could have turned tragic. Stege has been submitted for the Airman’s Medal and the Noncommissioned Officers Association Vanguard Award, awarded to a single member from each of the armed services who has distinguished himself or herself through acts of heroism. Slaughter and Dang have been submitted for the Air Force Commendation Medal with Heroism.

“We are very proud of our Airmen for acting quickly and keeping cool during a crisis,” said Maj. Robin Simons, 507th Force Support Squadron commander. “Their heroic actions truly show what being a wingman and Reserve Citizen Airman is all about.”

Once the electrician was stabilized, he was transported by paramedics to a local hospital for further treatment.