Air Force firefighter rescues two from burning vehicle, cares for crash victim

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Dakota Raub
  • Space Launch Delta 45 Public Affairs


As he merged onto the busy interstate, he immediately noticed a truck passing by with smoke rolling out from the engine compartment.

“How can they not see it?” he thought to himself. 

 Seconds later the truck swerved off the road with a mother and her young son inside. Attached to the truck was a trailer hauling their horse.

 Within a matter of seconds, U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Scott Travers, 45th Civil Engineer Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of fire logistics, who was on his way home from work traveling on Interstate 95 one May afternoon, stopped to render aid.

 He helped the woman and her son out of the truck and then helped them get their horse out of their trailer. From there, he made sure everyone was a safe distance from the burning truck before it exploded.  

 “I told the occupants not to walk around the truck due to the airbags and brakes possibly blowing under the heat and fire,” said Travers, “They all blew and we all stood back and watched nine separate explosions.”

 The explosions resulted in a fire spreading to a nearby field and the group anxiously waited for the police and fire department to arrive, Travers said.

 With his 15 years of experience as an Air Force firefighter, Travers was aware of the hazards the fire presented and used this knowledge when a police officer arrived on scene. He prevented the officer from attempting to extinguish the blaze without personal protective equipment because the fire was too hot, he said.

 “Once fire crews arrived, I pointed out to them how far it had gone into the woods and where it appeared to be traveling, which would help it get extinguished quickly and prevent a wildfire from spreading,” said Travers.

 Travers said he is proud knowing he was able to help the family get to safety. 

 About a month after the truck incident while traveling on I-95 in Palm Bay, Florida, Travers watched a car merge into a motorcycle. Immediately, he pulled over to provide support for the injured motorcyclist. 

 While waiting for response from the police department, Travers put his motorcycle in front of himself and the downed motorcyclist. He said he did this to protect the motorcyclist from oncoming traffic, just like he would use a fire truck to provide protection if he was on duty. 

“Safety was key,” said Travers, “I conducted a rapid assessment on the motorcyclist to find at least 50% of his body sustained road rash and treated him for shock.”

 Shortly after the collision a Palm Bay police officer arrived at the scene. 

 When the officer arrived, he noticed a bystander helping the downed motorcyclist and blocking traffic. 

 “The helpful bystander wasn’t trying to control anything, he knew exactly what he needed to do and what role he needed to play,” said Officer Kyle Eakins, Palm Bay Police Department. 

 Eakins was impressed by Travers in how his priority was to make sure the motorcyclist was OK and conscious.

 “Anything and everything that I asked, without question, he said he could help me with,” said Eakins. 

 With all the individuals from both incidents alive and well, Travers reflects on the impact he had on their lives. 

 “It is great to see a sigh of relief when someone realizes they are safe in a scary situation,'' said Travers. “Knowing I helped in any way that I could and brought those people relief is the most rewarding thing out there.”