ROLAND R. WRIGHT AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Utah – A Utah Air National Guard member with the 151st Air Refueling Wing received the Utah Cross March 15.
Tech. Sgt. Erik Bornemeier, a medical technician assigned to the 151st Medical Group, Detachment 1, distinguished himself as the first person to respond to the scene of a head-on crash involving a vehicle and a motorcycle the morning of June 2.
On his way to work, Bornemeier was the first on the scene of the collision and the victim from the motorcycle was lying in the road. He grabbed his medical kit out of the trunk of his car, assessed the situation and moved across active lanes of traffic to get to the victim.
"The first thing I did was take a deep breath," said Bornemeier. "As a medic, I am trained to triage and sort by priority and he was the highest priority."
Once he arrived at the victim's side, he realized the victim was in critical condition, with mass amounts of trauma, bleeding, and upper and lower limb compound fractures. He began to render aid.
"The honest truth is that none of us know that we'll do the right thing until presented with that moment," said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Turley, adjutant general. "I can safely say that in this event, Sgt. Bornemeier did the right thing, at the right time, and for the right reasons."
Bornemeier exhibited valor and heroism with his quick action and using his medical skills while also putting himself at risk by performing these actions in traffic.
"I fell straight into my medical training the Air Force has given me," he said. "We are taught to always be serving, and at that time I was just doing my job."
The Utah Cross is the second-highest state award a Utah National Guard military member can receive. It is awarded only to those who distinguish themselves with bravery above and beyond the call of duty.
"On behalf of the Utah National Guard, Sgt. Bornemeier, thank you for what you do," Turley said. "You make us proud to be a member of an organization that would have a person such as you. I'm proud to wear the cloth of the nation with you."
The injured motorcyclist died later that day. Bornemeier was able to contact the family and pass along his final message.
"It's sacred to be able to receive those last words, and it was an absolute honor to be able to share them with the victim's family," said Bornemeier.