479th Flying Training Group civilian instructor receives award for car accident response

  • Published
  • By Capt. Tori Haberle
  • 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

David Galloway, a 479th Flying Training Group civilian instructor, was recently awarded the Command Civilian Award for Valor in a ceremony at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, for his heroic response to a car accident near the main gate of the base.

The award is given to Air Force civilian employees who demonstrate extreme courage or competence in assisting others during an emergency.

A 16-year-old driving a sedan traveled into oncoming traffic after failing to negotiate a curve and struck another vehicle March 30.

David Galloway, a civilian T-1 simulator instructor with the 479th Student Squadron, was on his way to work when he came upon the accident and immediately responded to the scene.

“One car hit another head on and one of the cars was on fire,” Galloway said. “I stopped my truck, grabbed my fire extinguisher and put the fire out.”

After the fire was extinguished, Galloway rendered first aid to the occupants of one of the vehicles, a woman and her son.

Galloway recognized that the woman was injured and directed her to lie down on the side of the road. He was also able to keep her calm as he focused his attention on her son, who was still inside the vehicle.

“I went over and saw her four-year-old son was strapped in,” Galloway said. “He had a gash on his head, so I applied pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding and tried to keep him calm.”

Galloway controlled the scene and administered first aid under the undeniable stress of the situation and stayed with the victims until emergency crews arrived.

“As far as what happened, it really was no big deal,” he said. “A lot of other people stopped to help, I just happened to get there early.”

Galloway has a long record of service spanning over 30 years, 20 of which were spent on active duty. He was a prior F-18 Pilot in the U.S. Navy and also spent a year in Baghdad as the Counter IED officer/EWO for the Army's 89th Military Police Brigade where he was awarded a Bronze Star. He previously served as T-39 instructor for joint Naval Flight Officer (NFO)/ Combat Systems Officer (CSO) training in Pensacola and has been with the 479th FTG since its establishment in 2010.

“Through his many years of service and extensive military training, he was able to keep calm and poised under tremendous pressure, said Lt. Col. Cathyrine Armandie, commander of the 479th Student Squadron, in her praise of Galloway. “Despite his humility, he certainly reacted heroically. I applaud his selflessness and courage to act. He is a vital asset to our team and sets a great example for our Airmen.  I am grateful to serve alongside him.”