• Spc. Jesse R. Collins, a satellite controller for A Company, 53rd Signal Battalion (SATCON), working on one of his unit's modernized enterprise terminal. After completing a 12-hour duty day, Collins became a first responder for a traffic accident he encountered near his home.

    Space Soldier serves as hero while off duty

    Spc. Jesse R. Collins, a satellite controller for A Company, 53rd Signal Battalion (SATCON), working on one of his unit's modernized enterprise terminal. After completing a 12-hour duty day, Collins became a first responder for a traffic accident he...

  • Spc. Jesse R. Collins, a satellite controller for A Company, 53rd Signal Battalion (SATCON),  in his dress uniform, After completing a 12-hour duty day, Collins, became a first responder for a traffic accident he encountered near his home in late September.

    Space Soldier serves as hero while off duty

    Spc. Jesse R. Collins, a satellite controller for A Company, 53rd Signal Battalion (SATCON), in his dress uniform, After completing a 12-hour duty day, Collins, became a first responder for a traffic accident he encountered near his home in late...

FORT DETRICK, Md., -- Even though a Soldier's work day may end, his heroism is always on duty.

After completing a 12-hour duty day, Spc. Jesse R. Collins, a satellite controller for A Company, 53rd Signal Battalion (SATCON), became a first responder for a traffic accident he encountered near his home in late September.

The accident was a head-on collision on Maryland Route 26 near Libertytown, Md. Collins quickly assessed the danger that existed for traffic being unable to stop, due to the wreck being around the bend, and used his own vehicle as a visual to stop cars.

"In regards to my involvement in the accident that happened in front of my home, I would say this... If one of my family members was involved in an accident I would hope someone would care enough to stop and attempt to help out," Collins said. "We as Soldiers serve the people of the United States and live the Army values. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade."

Collins checked on the wellbeing of both vehicles' occupants and rendered aid. Additionally, he updated emergency services via cell phone as they were en route to the crash, ensuring emergency personnel were able to prepare and respond appropriately to the accident.

Once Collins completed surveying all personnel and determined no critical injuries were sustained, he moved into securing travel lanes around the crash site to keep traffic moving safely.

"Here you have people that were in a traumatic circumstance and no one was there to help. I would not leave those fallen individuals," Collins said. "I assessed the individuals involved and after determining that there were not life-threatening injuries, I moved to traffic control as this could have resulted in further injuries due to the road that it happened on. I did not leave this post until accident was cleared and all individuals were removed from the scene."

Even after the police and rescue personnel arrived, Collins stayed at his post so they could attend to the crash victims, conduct the accident investigation and clear the road of the vehicles.

One of the drivers, Amy Weed, shared her thoughts to the Soldier's leadership following the accident.

"We live in a world where too often we wonder why people do not do the right thing," Weed said. "Judging from the limited time I spent observing Spc. Collins, I doubt anyone has ever wondered that about him. I thank Spc. Collins and all members of the 53rd Signal Battalion for their service."

Collins, a native of Mt. Airy, N.C., enlisted in the Army in September 2008 and became a satellite controller. He is combat life saver certified and is qualified to operate the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle. In August 2012, he joined A Company, 53rd Signal Battalion (SATCON) at Fort Detrick, where he is currently stationed.

Page last updated Tue November 26th, 2013 at 12:52