908th Airman rushes to accident victims' aid

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jay Ponder
  • 908th Airlift Wing
In January 2011, then-1st Lt. Mark A. Bost, now a captain with the 357th Airlift Squadron was traveling home to Marietta, Ga. after a UTA with the 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell AFB, Ala.,

Suddenly, he saw an explosion around the bend in the interstate where a horrific crash had just happened.

Bost's actions during the next few minutes while saving the lives of two little girls resulted in his being nominated for the Airmen's Medal for heroism.

Stopping his vehicle, Bost saw that one vehicle was in flames while another was overturned on the edge of the woods. Without a moment's hesitation, he rushed toward the overturned Ford Explorer to aid the victims within. With assistance from two others who had stopped at the scene, they were able to pull one girl out through the back seat window.

The other girl was still in danger. She was trapped, strapped in her seatbelt, and the fire was moving toward her from the front of the wrecked vehicle.

Bost, along with several others turned the vehicle back over onto its wheels. Next, after obtaining a fire extinguisher, Bost prevented the fire from reaching the girl while the others cut her seat belt, freeing her.

Bost said he was surprised at the number of bystanders who gathered and just stood around and watched, and credits his military training for providing his ability to respond so quicky and decisively.

"That was the hardest thing for me, seeing people watching, not able to assist, either out of fear or what," he said. "That's one thing the military teaches, it gives you all this training, not because it's going to happen, but if it does happen, you can count on it."

The traumatic event wasn't yet over, and Bost's Air Force Self-Aid and Buddy Care experience kicked in. After making a cursory examination of the girl, he immediately began to administer first aid.

"I had a first aid kit and some blankets in my vehicle," he said. "Her hair was burnt, and she looked as if she were in shock. They ended up having to airlift her out. It seemed like forever before first responders got there because of the cars backing up on the interstate."

"You hope you never have to use it," Bost said, describing how his training in first aid kicked in. "But having done so much repetition, subconsciously, it kind of takes over, knowing the signs of shock and being able to splint, or treat an ankle that been broken."

He sat looking down at the floor while remembering the accident, for while two little girls had survived, the children's grandparents did not make it out of the vehicle. But Bost is grateful for the lives he helped save.

"At least, we helped a 6- and 10-year-old," said Bost. "We were lucky to get them out."