A member of the United States Air Force who was credited with saving the lives of 44 Nepal earthquake victims has been named the “2016 Airman of the Year”. Staff Sergeant Dylan Crawford was one of five US airmen who volunteered to participate in the Operation Sahayogi Haatharu, a joint operation of various US government agencies launched after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on 25 April 2015.
Staff Sergeant Crawford, who called the US military’s earthquake mission to Nepal “the pararescue mission of the century”, has been named the 2016 Airman of the Year for his selfless act in the rescue and relief mission.
Many of those he put on his Ospreys helicopter and flew to Kathmandu would probably not have made it if he had not reached their far-flung villages at the right time.
According to Military Times, an independent media outlet that focuses on all branches of the US military, when the disaster struck Mr Crawford was in the middle of a training programme in the Philippines. Nevertheless, he offered to fly to Nepal to mount the emergency rescue mission.
In the following three weeks, he would fly to the most affected areas of the country where desperate earthquake survivors would circle around his helicopters. He would assess them and then decide which ones needed the most urgent medical attention in Kathmandu’s emergency medical facilities.
“To be able to go out and immediately use all the medical knowledge that I learned and have such a wide variety of patients that I was able to help was pretty incredible,” Crawford was quoted by the Military Times. “To be that one guy on the ground, to go out and do mass casualties in the villages and help as many people as I could and get them to the best medical care that I possibly could, and also give them the treatment that they needed on the ground and in the helicopter, it was pretty incredible for me.”
Mr Crawford and other winners of the 2016 Military Times Service Members of the Year award will be honoured on July 14 at a Capitol Hill gala to be attended by members of US Congress and other VIPs.
(from : www.southasia.com.au)