Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

April 29, 2010 at 12:53pm

Aiding injured motorist ‘just the right thing to do,' Airman says

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Doing the right thing seems automatic for some people.

Staff Sgt. Nigel Norcisa, a C-17 loadmaster at McChord Field, is one of those people.

Norcisa grew up in an Air Force family in Dover, Del. His father's guiding philosophy influences his life to this day.

"Nigel, never look down on a man unless you are extending your hand to help him up," his father used to say.

Norcisa put his father's advice to work on the streets of Tacoma recently.

While driving to a dinner date, the 32-year-old Airman spotted a car driving erratically.

"It veered to the left, barely missing an oncoming car and then piled into a telephone pole," Norcisa said.

Immediately, he pulled over to help the driver.

"It was an automatic reaction. I thought about it later. Had that been my mother, sister, father or someone I knew in that car, I would hope that others would help. It's just the right thing to do," Norcisa said.

Trained in first aid, Norcisa jumped into action.

He found the driver slumped over and in a state of confusion.

"He was an older gentleman, and the airbags had deployed and hit him squarely in the face. I pulled him out and seated him on the curb. The engine was still running and smoking, so I shut it off. I looked in the front seat and found his glasses," Norcisa said.

The rapid inflation of air bags striking the driver full in the face had created some bloody bruising around his eyes. Neither car had a first-aid kit, so Norcisa improvised with some paper towels. After following up with a few short questions concerning the driver's welfare, Norcisa called 911. Norcisa stayed with the driver until emergency medical help arrived. He gave them contact information and later spoke with an investigating police officer.

Colonel Glenn G. Rousseau, 8th Airlift Squadron Operations Group commander, recognized Norcisa's actions by presenting him with a commander's coin.

Captain Adam Schubert has known Norcisa for about four years. He said assisting an injured motorist is characteristic of Norcisa's personality.

"He's a great Airman," Schubert said.

"Staff Sergeant Norcisa is a natural-born leader. He could have just continued to drive by, but that option didn't even enter his mind. It doesn't surprise me that he rendered immediate assistance to the driver in Tacoma," Schubert said.

Norcisa will soon take an assignment at Altus Air Force Base, Okla., as a C-17A Globemaster III instructor loadmaster, with the 58th Airlift Squadron.

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