Davis-Monthan airmen honored for life-saving efforts at Arizona ceremony
By STEPHANIE CASANOVA | The Arizona Daily Star | Published: November 7, 2019
TUCSON, Ariz. (Tribune News Service) — A group of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base airmen were honored Wednesday for recent life-saving efforts and acts of bravery.
The 11th annual Heroes Day awards ceremony recognized also recognized the Tucson Police Department, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Tucson Fire Department and the Northwest Fire District, a Banner-University Medical Center news release said.
In July, the 48th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan rescued stranded fishermen after a crane collapsed on their vessel off the coast of Mexico. Capt. John P. Connor commanded the nine-man team during the rescue.
Senior Airman Raul A. Martinez, a primary medic and translator on the team, provided multiple life-saving medical interventions and translated crucial patient information. First Lt. Jorge I. Pala led two airdrops and one resupply drop. The team dove into the ocean to save the two fishermen and spent 58 hours performing life-saving medical care, teleconferencing with neurosurgeons and communicating with Mexican authorities during the rescue effort, the news release said.