Fort Rucker Soldier's selfless actions earn him Army Safety Guardian Award
March 25, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- WO1 Michael Jordan was awarded the Safety Guardian Award March 18 for his actions back in mid-August when he pulled a pregnant woman from a burning, overturned vehicle after a traffic accident.
Brig. Gen. William T. Wolf, Director of Army Safety, commended Jordan's, "extraordinary selflessness and heroism," as he presented the award to the Solider at his 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment unit headquarters.
"The Safety Guardian Award recognizes selflessness and heroism in servicemembers and Department of the Army Civilians (who) risk their lives to save someone else," Wolf said.
Jordan said he just did what comes naturally to a Soldier.
"It was just muscle memory. Your body naturally goes into combat lifesaver mode," he said after receiving the award.
Jordan was driving in Ozark when two vehicles collided a few cars in front of him Aug. 15. The passengers of one vehicle escaped as the vehicle caught fire. Jordan stopped to make sure everybody was safe as other drivers passed by.
He first checked the burning pickup truck for passengers and once he determined it was clear, he quickly determined the occupants were safe.
It was then that Jordan heard Brittany Bragwell's screams from the overturned car, and saw the smoke and sparks from the vehicle.
"I could smell smoke, and I thought my car was on fire," she said. "I started screaming, 'Get me out! I'm pregnant!'"
Jordan said Army regulations prohibit moving a person involved in an accident unless there's a fire. The smoke and heat convinced Jordan that moving her was necessary.
He could not get the overturned car's door open so he entered through the window. Jordan used a technique he called "shrimping" where he laid on his back and carried Bragwell out of her car over broken glass and metal.
He received a few scrapes, but Bragwell made it out of the car without sustaining further injuries.
Jordan then carried her a safe distance away and kept her calm until first responders arrived. He even made phone calls to her family to let them know she was safe.
"It's an incredible story - a story of heroism and disregard for his own life in trying to save Brittany and her unborn baby," Wolf said.
Since the night of the accident, Jordan has met members of Bragwell's family including her husband and baby he saved that day.
"It's a good feeling," Jordan said, "I saved two for the price of one."