Senior Airman Daniel Shimanski was awarded the Air Force Combat Action Medal earlier this month, a rare honor for any medic to receive.
Shimanski is an emergency medical technician with the 436th Medical Operations Squadron out of Dover Air Force Base.
Typically, emergency medical technicians deploy to hospitals down range, rarely engaging in combat; but, on Sept. 28, 2012, officials say Shimanski’s convoy came under small arms fire and improvised explosive devices prompting him to act.
According to the Air Force, while deployed with the Army’s 414th Transportation Company, a reserve unit based out of South Carolina, an IED struck the second vehicle in Shimanski’s convoy. As soon as Shimanski’s team, along with a wrecker, pulled up to help, a second IED went off under the wrecker injuring two soldiers on the ground. When Shimanski started administering care, gunfire erupted from all directions forcing him and his gunner to return fire for about 15 minutes. While Shimanski was still treating his patients, a third IED detonated. It wasn’t until 12 hours later, when everyone returned to base.
Tech. Sgt. John Carlton, 436th Medical Group executive officer, said Shimanski deserved the award because of his outstanding performance of medical care and personally taking part in combat operations.”I know Shimanski to be a loyal Air Force member who has proven many times his worth as a medic, but whom also has now proven his courage in battle,” said Carlton, who was also Shimanski’s supervisor at the time.Shimanski said it is an honor to be one of the few Air Force medics to receive this award.”I think it will show all other medics that even though you might work in a clinic right now, you never know when you could get orders to deploy with the Army,” said Shimanski. “You have to keep the mindset that you are a warrior medic.”