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Airman recieves city award for life-saving actions
Senior Airman Steve Cresanto holds the award presented to him by Youngstown City Mayor Charles Sammarone at a city council meeting March 6, 2013, in Youngstown City, Ohio. The award recognizes heroic actions Cresanto took on the scene of a motor vehicle accident Feb. 5, 2013. Cresanto used his Air Force Self Aid Buddy Care training to treat two victims until first responders arrived, ultimately saving one man’s life. Cresanto is an air transportation journeyman with Youngstown Air Reserve Station's 76th Aerial Port Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric M. White)
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Exemplary Airman saves life, earns city's recognition

Posted 3/7/2013   Updated 3/8/2013 Email story   Print story


by Eric M. White

3/7/2013 - YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- In the early morning, you're driving through the city when you see two men pushing a stalled vehicle. You stop to see if they need help, and another vehicle strikes the two men against their car, fracturing one man's leg and severing the other's below the knee. The victim with the severed leg is bleeding profusely and showing signs of shock. What do you do?

The morning of Feb. 5, 2013, U.S. Air Force Reserve Senior Airman Steve Cresanto, an air transportation journeyman with Youngstown Air Reserve Station's 76th Aerial Port Squadron, was driving through the city when this scenario became reality, forcing him to make such decisions.

Jawkwan Rudolph, one of the victims, had the most serious injuries.

"His leg was amputated. You want to stop the hemorrhaging, so I applied a tourniquet," said Cresanto.

"I didn't have a tourniquet there, so I made one. I made the tourniquet out of the individual's belt and a windshield wiper from the car that struck them," said Cresanto.
Cresanto then fashioned a splint for the second victim's fractured leg using an ice scraper and another belt.

When first responders arrived at the scene of the accident, they asked Cresanto where he learned to do what he did, stating that his actions likely saved Rudolph's life. Cresanto credited the Self Aid Buddy Care (SABC) training he receives annually as an Air Force Reservist.

"We do it every single year, do the training, and I never thought I would actually use it in the field. It turns out I did, and I am glad I had the training," said Cresanto.

SABC training includes basic life support and limb-saving techniques to help injured persons survive until medical help arrives.

Charles Sammarone, Youngstown city mayor, presented Cresanto with an award on behalf of the city at a city council meeting March 6.

Detective/Sergeant Patricia Garcar, one of the first responders to the accident, recommended Cresanto for the award and presented at the council meeting her account of what unfolded the morning of the accident.

"I was just so impressed with what he did. He did not have to stop and didn't have to offer the assistance that he did, and it just amazed me," said Garcar.

Cresanto is one of more than 1,600 Citizen Airmen stationed at Youngstown Air Reserve Station who have answered the nation's call to fulfill the Air Force's core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.

"This is just another amazing example of the Airmen that we have here and the tie that we have to the community," said Col. James D. Dignan, 910th Airlift Wing commander. "There's a sense of family here at the 910th Airlift Wing."

3/11/2013 12:29:27 PM ET
Brutus Buckeye, Colorado Springs
3/9/2013 11:06:29 AM ET
It goes to show that everything that we learned in Basic Military Training is not just for the military but as a civilian as well.Kudos to SrA Cresanto and his quick thinking and actions. His actions bring great credit to himself and the United States Air Force.
Trevor Norman, Minneapolis MN
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