148th Fighter Wing 1st Sgt. Assists in Saving a Life

Senior Master Sgt. Scott Twining it the 1st Sgt. for Headquarters and the Operations Group, 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn.  Twining is also a member of the Rice Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Duluth, Minn. and has been a volunteer for the past 25 years.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka)

Senior Master Sgt. Scott Twining is the 1st Sgt. for Headquarters and the Operations Group, 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. Twining is also a member of the Rice Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Duluth, Minn. and has been a volunteer for the past 25 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka)

DULUTH, Minn. -- Whether he is performing his duties at the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. or volunteering as the Fire Chief for the Rice Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Senior Master Sgt. Scott Twining epitomizes the Air Force core value of "service before self".

As a member of the volunteer fire department and a first responder, Twining and the rest of the Rice Lake Fire Department team are often the first emergency response to get to a scene.  Twining estimates that 80 percent of their calls are for medical emergencies.

On Jan. 7, 2015, Twining and other members of the fire department responded to a call for help at a local business establishment.  Upon their arrival, a male in his mid-fifties was collapsing from a heart attack.  After a quick medical assessment, Twining and other team members set up a defibrillator and began to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Twining and other firefighters took turns giving chest compressions and breathing for the victim.  In addition to CPR, they had to shock the victim with the defibrillator a couple of times.  After about 15 minutes of working on the patient he started to come around.  He was then taken to a local medical facility for treatment.  After the event, Twining received a call from the lead cardiac doctor who treated the patient. The doctor wanted to thank him and the other members of the Rice Lake Fire Department and let them know that the person they helped save was up and walking around.

Twining has been a volunteer member of the Rice Lake Fire Department for 25 years.  Actually, being a member of the Rice Lake Fire Department is a family tradition. Twining's step-grandfather was a founding member of the fire department when it started back in 1948 and his dad was a member for 23 years, retiring in the early 1990's.

Twining estimates that his time commitment to be a volunteer firefighter is about 20 hours a month.  "I do it to give back to the community and because of the relationships that I have established with the other firefighters, it's like an extended family," said Twining.

At the 148th Fighter Wing, Twining is the 1st Sgt. for Headquarters and the Operations Group.  This position allows him to help people in the military just like he does in the civilian world, albeit a little different.