Airman receives AETC-level Pitsenbarger award for heroic efforts

  • Published
  • By Airman Hannah Bean
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Earlier this month, Senior Airman Dylan Fivecoate, 14th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, was announced as the Air, Education and Training Command winner for the 2019 Air Force Sergeants Association Pitsenbarger Award.

The AFSA Pitsenbarger Award is presented annually to 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.

“It’s a great honor to even be nominated for the award,” Fivecoate said. “To me personally, it’s just a great honor to be recognized for the things I do, because it’s not just me that does it. There’s so many other people who do the same things I do.”

Fivecoate’s heroic efforts were vital in saving the lives of two civilians involved in separate vehicle accidents, while responding as a volunteer firefighter.

In one accident, Fivecoate used the Jaws of Life to cut a trapped individual from a vehicle to allow medical personnel better access to the patient.

“I was lying in bed when I got the call,” Fivecoate said. “The first thing that runs through my mind when I arrive on scene is usually a quick checklist but on that day, it was my first major car accident, so I was a bit overwhelmed. Once I took a moment to take in the situation, it was all business and getting the job done.”

In the other accident, Fivecoate arrived on scene and crawled through the window of an overturned car to stabilize and provide life-saving medical care to an elderly woman until emergency response teams arrived. Once medical personnel arrived, he aided in transferring her out of the vehicle.

Fivecoate said he enjoys helping people. Through his volunteer work, he’s been able to see a wide variety of patients that come through and feels gratified in being able to minimize the damage done as much as he and his fellow firefighters can.

“Dylan is 100 percent committed to whatever he is engaged in,” said Glenn Shreiner, 14th OSS airfield operations automation manager. “He consistently attends our local training sessions and has completed both Emergency Medical Responder and Firefighter 1 state certifications. With this experience and knowledge, he is a very effective member of our response team and never hesitates to jump into action to save lives and property.”

The Pitsenbarger Award named in honor of Airman 1st Class William H. Pitsenbarger. He was an Air Force pararescueman who responded on April 11, 1966, to a call for evacuation of casualties incurred in an ongoing firefight between elements of the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division and a sizeable enemy force in Vietnam. In his short life and valorous Air Force career, he was an example of dedication, compassion and tenacity for all those with whom he served. In his work, and especially on his final mission, Pitsenbarger embodied the pararescueman's motto: "That Others May Live."