The Marin Independent Journal recently profiled IAFF Local 1775 member Dave Cornell of the San Rafael Fire Department. Local 1775 is proud to welcome our brother safely home after his third tour in Afghanistan.
Flight medic recovered injured soldiers from the battlefield
San Rafael Firefighter/Paramedic Dave Cornell, 51, has dedicated his life to serving others and recently returned from his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.
For the last year he was Sgt. 1st Class with a Modern Helicopter Medical Evacuation, or MEDEVAC, unit in the National Guard, transporting critically injured soldiers from the battlefield to field surgical teams and hospitals. Most of the injuries he treated were from improvised explosive devices and gunshots.
"We were landing in the dust and dirt, and most of the time we'd go out and meet the patient if they were really bad off," Cornell said. "If we could get to the patient, we had an excellent 48-hour survival rate."
Ever since he was a child, the Auburn resident has dreamed of being a soldier and a firefighter. He joined the Army when he was 17, eventually becoming an Army Special Forces medic. After getting fed up with the bureaucracy involved with launching missions, Cornell said he opted to change paths.