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592 SOMXS Air Commando Saves Life

  • Published
  • By by SSgt Caleb Pavao
  • 492d Special Operation

“Any place. Any time. Anywhere.” That is the motto of Air Force Special Operations Command. An AFSOC Air Commando and his wife showed they were ready any place, any time, anywhere when action was required in an unexpected place with very little warning.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jamie Sparks, an aircraft electrical and environmental systems specialist with the 592nd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, and his wife, Angela, saved the life of an unconscious man in his vehicle, stopped in the road in Niceville, Florida, April 23, 2020.

Sparks stated his sentiments on the actions he carried out that day.

“It’s something I would expect anyone to do, especially someone in service,” said Sparks, “I didn’t do much. Me and my wife had our eyes open for something that didn’t look right, and we intervened.”

While Sparks considers what he did to be common duty, his everyday duties may have played a role as well.

“As an [Air Force] maintainer, you have to have that sixth sense about you,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Kortright, an aircraft electrical and environmental systems specialist with the 592 SOMXS. “You have to know where everything is at all times in case of an emergency. So I think we’re kind of pre-programmed for that [incident].”

The incident took place on Sparks’ birthday while the couple was driving home under a tornado warning.

Sparks said that he and Angela were in traffic when they saw a pizza delivery vehicle stuck in the right lane without aid of any kind.

“Probably a good 50 cars had passed this guy and just blew their horns and flipped him off,” said Sparks. “As we go around the car, I first realize the windows are fogged up, and then as we look closer, the guy is slumped over on his steering wheel.”

The husband and wife duo went to assist. They beat on the windows to tried and wake the unconscious man while phoning emergency services. Meanwhile, two bystanders arrived with screwdrivers to assist in breaking a window to pull the motionless man from his vehicle.

“[The man’s] car was slowly creeping into traffic,” said Angela. “We could tell that he was [incapacitated].”

Sparks took action.

“I’m already on the phone with 911. I see that they’re not making any progress busting these windows out, so I grab the screwdriver and slam through the window,” said Sparks. “In the process of going through the window, I cut my wrist up pretty bad. I ended up having to get six stitches later.”

The Sparks said that an off-duty EMT arrived as the group was pulling the man from the vehicle. The man had stopped breathing, and the EMT began administering emergency medical assistance.

Emergency services soon arrived and were able to resuscitate the man. He survived. However, further details are withheld as the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Sparks is scheduled to retire from the Air Force on October 1.

“He didn’t put in 20 years. He put in 24 years as a Master Sergeant,” said Kortright. “That shows he goes all the way.”

Sparks has left a lasting impression as he moves toward retirement.

“[Sparks] is a first-class person. His character is above reproach,” said Kortright. “People like him getting out of the Air Force, that hurts the Air Force. We definitely need more people like him.”