By MC1 Chris Fahey, NMCB 3
CE1 Brian Nielsen from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 receives the Life Saving Medal award during an official awards ceremony of the Ventura County Fire Department at Simi Valley, Calif. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Debra Daco)
When a Seabee from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 came across a wrecked truck, flames shooting across the hood and top, along a wet roadway near downtown Ventura, Calif., Nov. 1, his reaction wasn’t to call for help, rubberneck or wonder who is going to do what – he took action, pulled an unconscious man from the inferno and saved his life.
For his heroic efforts, Construction Electrician 1st Class Brian Nielsen received Life Saving Medal from the Ventura County Fire Department during an official awards ceremony Friday, Jan. 29, at Simi Valley.
“These rescuers disregarded their personal safety and exposed themselves to immediate danger for two complete strangers,” says Chief Deputy Vaughan Miller. “Brian never said anything to his command after the rescue. His command only found out when the fire department was looking for Brian so we can award him for his heroic act.”
According to Nielsen, his actions and resulting credit represent a simple fact – God put him in the place he was meant to be at the time he was meant to be there. A fact he feels applies to all those responsible for individual and national security.
“If you walked out to your car this morning and your car was still in the driveway, then thank a police officer,” said Nielsen. “They maintain order in our community and wear a bullet proof vest to work for a reason. If your house is still standing, thank a fireman. If you consider yourself educated, thank a teacher. If you live in the freedom filled country of the United States, then thank a service member.”
The naval construction force is a vital component of the U.S. maritime strategy. The force provides deployable battalions capable of providing disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.
CE1 Brian Nielsen from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 together with Maria Esparza, receives the Life Saving Medal award during an official award ceremony of the Ventura County Fire Department at Simi Valley, Calif. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Debra Daco)