NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WBZ-TV) – Most firefighter calls are for medical emergencies where someone needs help. Most firefighters have EMT or paramedic training, but it’s not often that they have to use it at 30,000 feet.
“As soon as we recognized there was a problem, our training began,” said North Attleboro Fire Captain George McKinnon. “We do this stuff everywhere in all types of contexts. I never thought I would do it on a plane overhead.
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Last week, seven firefighters from North Attleboro and Foxboro, Mass., Were on a Southwest Airlines flight to Chicago. A nearby passenger had a medical problem and then turned gray. The firefighters did not hesitate.
“We didn’t even have to look at each other,” said North Attleboro Fire Chief Chris Coleman. “We just knew what to do. Captain McKinnon did CPR, I put on the IV, Captain Langille had the AED.
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The plane had all the equipment the firefighters needed. “Once the patient regained consciousness, we started an infusion, gave him fluid and he remained conscious throughout the flight,” said Chief Coleman.
The passenger had no pulse, it was that bad. But the firefighters picked up his pulse, raised his blood pressure and his heart. The flight continued to Chicago. “We do it every day,” said Chef Coleman. “Whether it’s 30,000 feet in the air or on the sidewalk in North Attleboro. This is our job.
The group was on their way to Denver to visit the fallen firefighters memorial.
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The firefighters involved in the rescue were Chief Chris Coleman, Captain George McKinnon, Captain Josh Langille, Lt. Scott Langille, retired firefighters Jeff Badger and Rich McDonagh, and Foxborough firefighter Cory Shepardson.