September 2012 — Each year, the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation has a difficult choice to make. Out of all the life-saving rescuers from the previous year, the national non-profit organization must choose only one group to honor at the annual Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update/Citizen CPR Foundation Conference, the highest-profile gathering of CPR instructors, physicians, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, and resuscitation professionals and researchers in the United States.
This year, Mary Newman, president of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation honored Federal Aviation Administration Inspectors Ron Noe and Ray Trevino with the "People Saving People" Award, for their role in saving the life of Captain Matt Taylor, an American Airlines pilot and 30-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
On December 11, 2011, Captain Matt Taylor was attending class at the American Airlines Training Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Feeling ill, he excused himself and walked down the hall, intending to sit down and rest. Instead, he collapsed next to a group of computer terminals near the front of the training center. Luckily for him, standing nearby were FAA Inspectors Noe and Trevino, who heard Captain Taylor collapse and immediately began assessing him.
The FAA Inspectors credit Emergency University's online and blended CPR training course and AED training program for teaching them how to execute a planned, organized, and practiced response. FAA Inspector Noe stated, "We could see the life drain out of him, and we knew we had to act. Emergency University had trained us for just this kind of situation, and we just set into motion our training. We knew what we had to do."
Noe and Trevino were joined by American Airlines pilot Captain Frank Meyer, who assisted the two in providing CPR, connecting an Automated External Defibrillator, and shocking Captain Taylor.
As Inspector Trevino recalled, "You could just see his soul return" within 30 seconds of being shocked. "His color returned... he started breathing. It was amazing! Within another two minutes, Captain Taylor's eyes began moving, and he tried to get up. I had to hold him down. He asked 'What happened?' By the time Emergency Services arrived, Captain Taylor stood up, and climbed onto the transport bed himself."
"I’ve never seen anything like it. Captain Taylor's remarkably rapid improvement suggests that he will not have long lasting health consequences from this event," stated Dr. Odelia Braun, Medical Director of Emergency University. "This is what we are all trying to achieve every day through our online CPR certification courses and Public Access Defibrillation programs. It is so gratifying when you have this kind of result."
At the time of his sudden cardiac arrest, Captain Taylor was the father of four daughters, and his wife was six months pregnant. After his resuscitation, he returned home in time to spend the holidays with his family.
Captain Taylor stated, "If it weren’t for the brave action of my rescuers, my daughter would never have known what it would be like to be held by her father. Thank you so much for helping live to see my new daughter."