FROM: U.S. AIR FORCE
Airman saves life, earns city's recognition
by Eric M. White
910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
3/8/2013 - YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AFNS) -- 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, 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 quick decisions.
Jawkwan Rudolph, one of the victims, had the most serious injuries.
"His leg was amputated," Cresanto said. "You want to stop the hemorrhaging, so I applied a tourniquet."
"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," Cresanto said.
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 and buddy care 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," Cresanto said.
SABC training includes basic life support and limb-saving techniques to help injured persons survive until medical help arrives.
Charles Sammarone, the 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," Garcar said. "He did not have to stop and didn't have to offer the assistance that he did, and it just amazed me."
Cresanto is one of more than 1,600 Citizen Airmen stationed at Youngstown ARS.
"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, the 910th Airlift Wing commander. "There's a sense of family here at the 910th Airlift Wing."