NORTH ATTLEBORO — Firefighters are never off duty, even when they’re on a flight across the country.
On Thursday morning, Fire Chief Chris Coleman and firefighters from North Attleboro and Foxboro administered lifesaving aid to prevent a mid-flight tragedy aboard Southwest Airlines, Deputy Chief Michael Chabot said.
On a flight traveling from Boston to Chicago, Coleman and several active and retired firefighters on board rendered aid to a man suffering from a medical emergency, Chabot said.
Coleman, Capt. George McKinnon, Capt. Josh Langille, Lt. Scott Langille, retired firefighters Jeff Badger and Rich McDonagh, and Foxboro firefighter Cory Shepardson were alerted to a man in a row behind them who was experiencing symptoms consistent with those of a seizure.
The firefighters quickly began performing CPR on the unresponsive man, and advanced life support was then administered until his pulse returned, Chabot said.
The patient was stabilized for the rest of the flight and transported to a hospital upon the plane’s landing in Chicago.
“The heroic actions of these firefighters today echo our mantra that we are never truly off-duty should any emergency occur,” Chabot said. “These men are to be commended for their rapid response and lifesaving efforts that helped to stabilize this man mid-flight. Their swift action and determination, even at 30,000 feet in the air, is a testament to their unwavering preparedness and professionalism.”
The chief and firefighters were en route to Denver and planned to visit the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs. They were making the trip to honor deceased comrades, including North Attleboro firefighters Chris Cornetta and Jack White.