Sean Ochsenbein, MD, an ACEP and EMRA member and first-year resident at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, will be receiving the Presidential Public Safety Office Medal of Valor. He is one of only 12 recipients for 2015–2016.
Dr. Ochsenbein receives this honor due to his actions, while returning from a vacation, in caring for victims of a head-on collision that resulted in a fire. After finding one victim deceased, he found the driver of the other vehicle alive but trapped. Thinking quickly, he used a tow strap to force the driver’s door open and free him minutes before the vehicle was engulfed in flames. Dr. Ochsenbein credits his quick action and skill to his training and mentorship with the Putnam County (Tennessee) Rescue Squad, whose assistant chief, David Anderson, nominated him.
The Medal of Valor is the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer. An act of valor is defined as being above and beyond the call of duty and exhibiting exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind, and unusual swiftness of action, regardless of one’s personal safety in an attempt to save or protect human life.