Barksdale Airman proves training pays off

  • Published
  • By Airman Nicole Ledbetter
  • 2nd Bomb Wing

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, Louisiana – “At that moment, it seemed like the world was coming to an end and I just wanted to try and help calm that.”

This is what Staff Sgt. Omar Freemire, 2nd Bomb Wing command post’s senior nuclear action controller, said he felt when he helped a family of six after he witnessed their vehicle roll over.

He said he was returning from an office supply run on July 11 when he heard a car crash and saw one of the vehicles roll over.

“My initial response while I watched the car roll over was like, holy cow I actually just witnessed an accident,” said Freemire.

Freemire said he immediately pulled over and rushed to the vehicle. While he didn’t have a plan he knew he needed to do something.

“Once I got out of my car and ran up to the vehicle, I was wondering how many people were hurt,” said Freemire. “I need to find out information. That’s all I could think about. I need information because whatever information I can get, I can pass it off to the people who can actually do something with it.”

While he didn’t realize it at the time, his work experience of coordinating response and communicating information prepared him for this moment.

Freemire’s job focuses on emergency management and communication.

“My job over the years kind of dictated my brain on how to interact with the situation and just kind of went with a go, do, find information and pass it on,” said Freemire.

He said that training and participating in exercises on base helped him think clearly during a worst case scenario.

Freemire, along with two other bystanders, helped the family out of the rolled-over SUV and made sure the family was safe until first responders arrived.

It was no surprise to the people that know Freemire that he sprung into action.

“He would do anything for you at any time whenever you want it,” said Royce (Sonny) Kerbow, the chief of nuclear command and control operations at 2nd BW command post.

Freemire's teammates said that he is selfless, takes care of everyone around him and that his positivity is so influential that his presence lights up the room.

His outgoing, helpful and hardworking nature earned Freemire respect from his peers and appreciation from his leadership.

“He was on a 12-hour night shift and came in after his shift, during the day just to train and learn more about the job, that was not something that I asked him to do,” said Sonny. “He took it upon himself just because he wanted to be an expert in the program.”

Freemire not only takes extra steps to master his job but he also goes above and beyond in his development as a non-commissioned officer.

Although Freemire never thought he would be in a situation where he would need to implement emergency management skills outside the command post, he credits his training and work experience with his ability to think clearly and safely manage the emergency while taking care of the family of six.