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NEWS | May 13, 2015

SFS Defender receives Award of Valor

By Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Usually, driving home after work is a mundane event for all service members. Luckily for one severely injured driver, Airmen are on duty 24-hours a day.

Senior Airman Catherine Lund, a base defense operation center controller from the 628th Security Forces Squadron was the first responder to a major vehicle accident June 9, 2014 on Aviation Avenue near Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

For her brave and valiant efforts, the Tri-County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #3 awarded Lund the Award of Valor, April 23, 2015 during their Tri-County Law Enforcement Appreciation Awards Ceremony. Lund is the first military member to receive this award from the local organization.

After leaving work that day around 7 a.m. Lund witnessed a vehicle, attempting to make a left turn, being struck by a second vehicle.

"The scene was in complete chaos and there was shattered glass everywhere," Lund said. "People were standing by not knowing what to do and that's when my training kicked in and I knew I had to take control of the situation."

Lund asked bystanders to call 911 and she immediately began tending to the victims of the accident.

"As I pulled a passenger out of one of the vehicles I notice how badly the driver was hurt," Lund said. "I told a master sergeant who was present during the accident to administer first aid to the passenger and I went to help the driver."

According to Lund, the driver, pinned between the door frame and the windshield, needed immediate medical attention. Without hesitation, she entered the vehicle to attend to the ailing victim.

"The driver was trapped in the car and her legs were severely crushed," Lund said. "The vehicle was smoking and there were a lot of fumes. I helped the driver remain calm and stabilized her neck."

Lund remained in the vehicle with the driver until firefighters and paramedics arrived on scene with the 'Jaws of Life,' to free the driver from her vehicle.

"Lund is a squared away and motivated Airman who lives by the Air Force core values," said Master Sgt. David Adcox, her supervisor from the 628th SFS. "She always strives to go beyond the call of duty. I am glad she was recognized for her heroic actions."

The driver in the accident survived and Lund is grateful to have been a small part of making a difference in someone's life, she said.

"I am humbled to receive the award and I am extremely grateful the outcome of the accident did not end in tragedy," Lund said. "I was just doing my job and I know that anyone of the defenders working hard every day protecting lives on Joint Base Charleston would have done the same thing."

Lund also received an Air Force Commendation Medal for her actions.

"Senior Airman Lund's actions that day are a testament to the training and selflessness of our Defenders and a living example of the Air Force core values," said Lt. Col. Warren Brainard, 628th SFS commander. "I'm sure she never expected that she would have to place herself at risk to save a stranger, but when she did, she never hesitated.  Her decision saved a life that day and a cherished daughter to  loving parents. It's truly an honor to serve with someone as courageous as Catherine."