AFTAC Airman honored for her life-saving actions


U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jennifer Engblom is a nuclear debris collection and analysis ground systems technician with the Air Force Technical Applications Center at Patrick Air Force Base.

SENIOR LIFE Courtesy of Phil Sunkel, U.S. Air Force

An act of courage and bravery led to an airman from the Air Force Technical Applications Center earning the 2017 Valor Award and Life Saving Medal from the Melbourne Regional Chamber of East Central Florida.

Senior Airman Jennifer Engblom, a nuclear debris collection and analysis ground systems technician with AFTAC’s Technical Surveillance Squadron, received the award for her actions in November 2016 when she responded to a three-vehicles accident with five severely injured occupants.

Engblom and a co-worker were traveling on the Florida Turnpike on a Sunday evening last fall when they came upon the multi-car wreck. One vehicle was on fire and first responders had not yet arrived, so Engblom urged her co-worker to pull over so they could render assistance.

Engblom took charge of the scene, treating one occupant for shock while guiding other bystanders in emergency life-saving procedures.

As one vehicle became engulfed in raging flames, she directed a bystander to move her SUV between an immobile victim and the flaming car, creating a blast shield between the fiery automobile and the injured passenger on the ground.

After paramedics arrived, Engblom assisted them.

“I had the honor of representing Jennifer at the Melbourne Chamber’s award ceremony,” said Lt. Col. Edward G. Ferguson, TESS commander. “I sat among some amazing people at this event — firemen, police officers, emergency medical technicians — people who perform life-saving measures nearly every day. And while I was in awe of their actions, I realized Jen was the only person being recognized who was not a fully certified and trained first responder. That spoke volumes to me.”

Every year, the chamber presents three categories of valor awards to eligible Brevard County citizens: a medal of valor, a life-saving medal and an award of merit. Each is presented for some form of extraordinary or unprecedented behavior or action. 

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