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Software Group civilian performs lifesaving act

Mr. William Kinney, 558th Software Engineering Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, was recognized for his act of valor displayed in July 2020.

Mr. William Kinney, 558th Software Engineering Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, was recognized for his act of valor displayed in July 2020.

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

Show the world how to be better through actions. Lead by example.

Those were some of the thoughts that prompted William Kinney to leap into action when he came upon an overturned vehicle accident. On July 11, Kinney, a member of the 558th Software Engineering Squadron, assessed the situation and confirmed the safety of his own passengers prior to responding to the accident.

“When others run away, we are taught to run to the aid of our fellow man,” Kinney said. “If it were my children stuck in that vehicle, would I want help from others? Yes.”

Under the guidance of a Self-Aid Buddy Care instructor, who happened to be his wife, Kinney was able to provide support in the form of first-aid response and care as he carefully removed one of the passengers from the driver’s side of the overturned vehicle. For Kinney, it was years of impactful training that came to his rescue.

“Secure the people, secure the site, secure yourself,” he said. “Having the training drilled into my head and body [told me] to do those things helped me know what actions to take in a moment of crisis.

“I am lucky that my active duty wife is a Self-Aid Buddy Care instructor and First Aid/CPR certified within the Air Force. In our family, she’s the medic. She went in to react mode and thankfully we didn’t need to engage the higher level skills needed and we were able to safely secure the site.”

After the victim had been rescued, Kinney proactively directed traffic and prioritized a safe risk distance was maintained from the accident site. Once emergency personnel responded to the scene, Kinney passed over the responsibility and returned to his family, relieved and unscathed.

“During the extraction, you don’t have time to feel or think until afterwards. I kept thinking, ‘please be OK, please don’t let there be kids, is anyone bleeding?’

“From fear to ‘follow the training,’ relief and happiness, once everything was clear all I could think was, ‘it’s all OK.’”