McConnell Airman nominated for Commendation Medal after pulling man from burning car

Senior Airman Alex Williams (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Colby L. Hardin)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. (KSNW) – A routine drive to work turned into a life-saving experience for one 22nd Maintenance Group Airman.

Senior Airman Alex Williams, 22nd Maintenance Group Maintenance Operations Center controller, was driving down Kellogg back in March when he checked his rear view mirror and noticed smoke coming from a car on the opposite side of the road.

“I immediately slammed on my brakes and jumped out of my truck,” said Williams. “I really didn’t even think about it before I leaped over the median and started running towards the car. The whole time I was saying to myself ‘I hope no one is inside the car and I hope they aren’t hurt.'”

As Williams approached the car, he was able to see flames coming from the vehicle. He then realized the man inside was unconscious and started thinking of ways to get him out.

“My first thought was to try to get the window open so that I could unlock the door and pull him out,” added Williams. “Once I banged on the window the first time, he woke up and was able to unlock the door for me. I was able to pull him out, walk him away from the car and lean him up against the concrete wall to side of the highway.”

The paramedics arrived soon after. He told his story of what he saw and what happened a then continued on his way. Williams showed up to work 45 minutes late but with an incredible reason. Once he explained to his supervisors why he was tardy to work, they praised him for what he had done.

At the time, Williams was out-processing for his upcoming deployment. He had little time think about what he did, but still wanted to find out if the man he pulled from the burning car was okay.

He learned that the man went into a diabetic shock, which caused him to lose control of the car and hit the highway wall, but thanks to Williams and his quick thinking he is living and well.

Since that evening, Williams’s supervision has put him up for the Air Force’s Commendation Medal.

“It didn’t surprise me at all that he did this,” said Master Sgt. Jason Hutchens, 22nd MXG MOC superintendent. “He is always looking for ways to help other people, even if it means going out of his way to do so.”