A Cliff Dive to Save a Life
By Harold Hutchison
Airmen deployed to Joint Task Force Bravo in Honduras were on a trip to Costa Rica when one of them fell while climbing, striking his head and falling into a pool of water. Almost immediately, Matt Adams, an Air Force civil engineer, dove in after him.
"I went straight down from where he sank trying to reach him with very short visibility," he said. "I remember clearing my ears several times as I went down, and down, and down. I finally saw him lying on the bottom with his arms stretched out.”
Adams pulled the injured Airman out of the water, and then began providing first aid treatment for the wounds. It soon proved difficult to get the injured Airman to treatment. One ambulance broke down, and a second couldn’t reach the location. Ultimately Adams and several Airmen had to carry their injured buddy out of the area so he could be taken to a hospital, and eventually evacuated back to the United States via Honduras.
"Your demonstration of courage, valor, and putting yourself in danger to protect another Airman is something that we can all learn from," Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle told Adams as he presented him the Airman’s Medal for his actions.