Defender renders first aid to injured civilians, saves lives

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Liliana Moreno
  • 621st Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – On the evening of Sept. 9, Tech. Sgt. Ali Williams, 921st Contingency Response Squadron security forces assistant flight chief, witnessed a vehicle accident that left two civilians injured.

Williams was driving on Vanden Road near the train station, located about four miles from the base, when a car swerved in front of him.

“It was kind of one of those ‘oh, crap!’ moments,” he said. “I had cars behind me, so I slightly hit the brakes, trying to avoid him.”

Williams said the driver of the four-door sedan overcorrected, then fishtailed, causing the vehicle’s rear side door to strike a fixed telephone pole.

Williams immediately jumped into action, started assessing the situation and took command of the scene.

“As I was running to the scene, it got more and more real, as it seemed like something from a movie at first. It all happened so fast,” he said. “It was crazy. There was smoke everywhere and the entire backseat of the car was caved.”

He quickly started instructing bystanders to help out. Getting one person to dial 911, while another retrieved a first aid kit from a car.

As Williams started helping the driver and passenger out of their car, he immediately noticed a severe gash on the passenger’s forehead exposing a portion of her skull.

“We need to stop the bleeding,” he said. “I’ve done TCCC [Tactical Combat Casualty Care] and care under fire training and the biggest thing is to always stop the bleeding.”

As Williams provided critical first aid to the victims, he noticed the hood of the car started to smoke heavily, so he directed both members away from the smoking car.

“We did the buddy carry with the victim across the street, about 25 yards upwind, so if anything did happen or if the car caught on fire we would be a safe distance away,” he said.

After getting them both to safety, Williams continued providing first aid, treated for shock and stopped large lacerations from bleeding on both victims’ heads.

His extensive training as a defender and a CR Airman helped Williams be a hero that day. And even though his selfless actions were lauded by many, he said he only did what any other person would do when faced with that situation.

“Our job is to help people,” he said. “It was my duty to act. Working alongside the paramedics and police department demonstrated the importance of training and working well with a team.”

Master Sgt. Chad Anderson, 921st CRS first sergeant, said Williams’s actions on this day come as no surprise.

“Williams is a very sharp and dedicated Airman who has always been respectful and dedicated in taking care of his Airmen, family and the mission,” he said. “I am still amazed and extremely proud of the actions he took that day to care for and possibly save the lives of complete strangers all while putting his own life in jeopardy.”