Right place, right time: Sheppard Airman helps save life

  • Published
  • By Rachel Ross
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

Airman 1st Class Israel Wallace, an Airman in Training assigned to the 361st Training Squadron, was coined by 82d Training Wing Command Chief Rey Schultz for administering life-saving actions to assist a woman when she began seizing during the Guardians of Freedom Air Show April 27, 2024, here. 

Wallace, a Tennessee native, had recently stepped off the bus from basic training when he attended the air show. During the event, he heard screaming and saw a small girl trying to catch her grandmother. Wallace and a friend immediately ran to the scene.

“I just kind of remembered what we learned in basic training, in Tactical Combat Casualty Care,” Wallace said. “It flowed a little bit better than it did in training. I remember the little girl yelling that she knew her grandmother had seizures, and my dad had had seizures. So, some of the things that they're prone to are choking, foaming at the mouth, and biting their tongue. So the first thing I asked her was, ‘Is there anything in her mouth?’ And she said no.”

Wallace quickly sat down beside the woman and moved her into the recovery position, holding her head until medical personnel arrived. Paramedics stabilized the woman and took her to the hospital.

“I don’t remember overthinking it, I just heard a little girl screaming and I wanted to help,” Wallace said. “Maybe it’s because I’m a dad, but I knew what to do because of training for sure.”

Wallace enlisted in the Air Force after working several years in construction and car sales. 

“I was looking for a change of pace and some stability,” Wallace said. “I’ve got a wife and three kids, with another on the way.” 

His background in construction and the car industry influenced his desire to work in Aerospace Propulsion. 

“I just wanted to work with my hands,” Wallace said. “I guess I’ve always been interested in mechanical stuff.”

Master Sergeant Nathan Peña, 361 TRS Flight Chief, Military Training spoke on Wallace’s quick thinking and selfless behavior. 

“His response to assist someone in need without hesitation is one of the qualities we are cultivating at the 361st Training Squadron,” Master Sergeant Peña said. “This Airman’s actions embody selflessness, and it makes me proud to know that he is the future of our Air Force.”

“It humbled me more than anything. It feels a little undeserved," Wallace said. "I did what any dad would have done.”