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Citadel News Service
5 Nov 2010

Class of 1981 grad inducted into Arland D. Williams Society

A Charlotte, N.C., doctor is the latest inductee into The Citadel’s Arland D. Williams Society.

Photo
Dr. Tom Blackwell stands inside the Mobile Emergency Department during a recent visit to Charleston.

Dr. Tom Blackwell was inducted by The Citadel Alumni Association during its annual Homecoming awards banquet on Friday, Nov. 5.

The Arland D. Williams Society was created in 2000 to recognize graduates who have distinguished themselves through community service, heroism and bravery in their lives. The society is named for Arland D. Williams, Citadel Class of 1957, who died on Jan. 13, 1982 in the icy waters of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. Williams is credited with saving five people aboard Air Florida Flight 90 after it crashed into the 14th Street Bridge. Rather than take a life ring to save himself, he passed it on to five fellow passengers. He drowned before he could be rescued. 

Blackwell is the force behind the concept, design and deployment of the Mobile Emergency Department better known as MED-1 – two 53’ tractor trailers equipped as a 1,000- square-foot emergency room that can be fully operational in 15 minutes. This unique trailer contains 12 beds with medical monitoring equipment as well as two operating rooms. It is accompanied by a second 53’ tractor trailer which can house the staff and all supplies for MED-1. 

MED-1 was first deployed in Hurricane Katrina and also to the Midwest for severe flooding in 2008.

“Dr. Blackwell has extended himself far beyond just the practice of medicine and has unquestionably provided a much needed service to his community and the nation,” said Mike Rogers, director of alumni association. “He exemplifies all of the attributes for which the Arland D. Williams Society was founded.”

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