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Tyndall Airman jumps into action

Senior Airman Tyler Washum, 325th Aerospace Medicine Squadron public health technician mans the front desk for his office, Oct. 5th.  Members of the 325th AMDS have the mission of supporting the 325th Fighter Wing by providing medical, dental, and preventive care enabling all wing and associate units to maximize readiness and combat capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cody R. Miller)

Senior Airman Tyler Washum, 325th Aerospace Medicine Squadron public health technician mans the front desk for his office, Oct. 5th. Members of the 325th AMDS have the mission of supporting the 325th Fighter Wing by providing medical, dental, and preventive care enabling all wing and associate units to maximize readiness and combat capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cody R. Miller)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --  A Tyndall Airman used his training to help a fellow passenger during his flight home.

Senior Airman Tyler Washum, 325th Aerospace Medicine Squadron public health technician, used his healthcare knowledge and first responder techniques to help a dehydrated and overheated passenger.  Washum was on a flight home to Las Vegas.

"We were on the plane and people started screaming that someone was unconscious," Washum said.  "They asked if anyone was a medic, so I made my way up to the front and told them that I was in the Air Force and worked in medical."

Washum said the man had passed out and had a weak pulse.  He also said the man was extremely hot, because of all the clothes he was wearing.

"He had four or five layers of clothing on and was sweating profusely," Washum said.  "We laid him back as best we could and I treated him for shock.  I performed everything I was taught in basic training. We then removed some of the clothing so we could cool him off."

"Eventually he came to, and I was able to make sure he was alright," Washum said.  "He told me that he had taken some medication for a broken foot. I asked him if he had any water with the medicine and he said that he drank it with alcohol and hadn't drank water for a while."

Washum was able to get the man water and give him space, so he could breathe.  Afterwards, the man said he felt better and when the plane landed he was taken to get proper medical attention.

"Being on a crowded airplane, it was kind of loud and crazy, but I tried to use the training I've received annually as a medic," Washum said.  "I tuned the commotion out and took care of the patient.  I was pretty limited to what I could do on an airplane and my heart was racing, but I was able to remain patient-focused."

Washum exhibited the ability to keep his bearing under pressure and used his knowledge to help someone in need.  

According to the Air Force website the role of an Airman does not end with the duty day or when on vacation. One of the many aspects of Airmanship is being ready to act at a moment's notice to accomplish the mission.

Washum was lauded by leadership for his positive attitude and willingness to help.

"Tyler is a vital asset to the Public Health Flight and key to the completion of many of the services that Public Health provides to the 325th Fighter Wing," said Maj. Robert T. Gudgel, 325th AMDS public health flight commander.  "Through his professionalism and personal conduct he embodies our core values every day, but he went above and beyond in demonstrating excellence and service on that plane."

Washum said he has been in the Air Force for more than five years and originally joined to pay off his schooling.  Washum is majoring in pastoral studies and public health.  He said much of his drive to be a good Airman comes from his strong faith and his desire to help people.

"Whether it's volunteering for Airman Against Drunk Driving or just talking to someone who needs it, it's a 24/7 commitment," Washum said.  "I love helping people and solving problems.  It's our duty whether we're in uniform or not and it's something I believe strongly in.  I was raised to help. Always."