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Emergency University Success Stories

Emergency University Success Stories

FAA Saves Lives by Training Employees to Respond to SCA Victims


Their locations vary -- New York, Kentucky, Texas -- but their stories all start the same: a normal shift at a Federal Aviation Administration facility turned upside down by a coworker experiencing a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

Responding to an SCA victim within the first four minutes is critical. Each passing minute increases the chance of permanent brain damage or death. While the national average response rate is only two percent, thanks to training by Emergency University, FAA employees respond 100 percent of the time. Since 2009, more than 20,000 FAA employees at 198 locations across the US have attended Emergency University’s training programs. Here are three of their stories:

FAA Employees Save Pilot's Life

AA Captain Matt Taylor "Had it not been for Emergency University-trained inspectors, my daughter would never have known what it would be like to be held by her father."
-- American Airlines Captain Matt Taylor

It’s 6:30 a.m. at the American Airlines Training Center in Dallas, Texas. FAA Inspectors Ron Noe and Ray Trevino are enjoying a cup of coffee when they hear "someone snoring" and decide to check it out. They find 50-year-old American Airlines Pilot Captain Matt Taylor on the ground, struggling to breathe. The inspectors had recently completed Emergency University’s CPR/AED Training Program and knew exactly what to do. They assessed Captain Taylor, initiated CPR, grabbed the nearby AED, attached the pads and watched as the shock was delivered. Moments later, Captain Taylor slowly opens his eyes.

"It was amazing. Within about a minute, I could see the life come back into his face." -- FAA Inspector Ron Noe

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Not Enough Words in Any Language

FAA Services Manager Wilfredo Perea October 9th started out much like any other day for FAA System Support Center Technicians Jim French and Mike Flaugher. When they stopped by Bowman Field Airport Tower in Louisville, Kentucky to perform routine maintenance, they found Engineering Services Project Manager Wilfredo Perea lying on the floor of his office, unconscious and unresponsive. Flaugher immediately called Emergency Services while French administered CPR. Fifteen precious minutes ticked by before the Emergency Services team arrived on site. A technician used an AED to restore a sinus rhythm and Perea was transported to the hospital where he underwent quintuple bypass surgery. After a relatively brief hospital stay, he was home with his family and on the way to making a full recovery.

"For me, Jim and Mike are simply heroes and I am alive today because of what they did. There isn’t a gift big enough to give, there aren’t enough words in any language; nothing seems adequate or appropriate. All I can do is say, 'Thank you.'" -- Engineer Services Project Manager Wilfredo Perea

Read Wilfredo's Full Story

Six FAA Employees Receive "2nd Chance At Life" Commendation Awards

It happened suddenly. Controllers Neil O’Toole and Mike Pitt were conversing in the New York TRACON computer room when Pitt noticed that O’Toole was having an SCA. Pitt immediately called Front Line Manager Craig Edwards, who notified Operations Manager Jeffrey Brooks. Traffic Management Supervisor Chris Leigh called Emergency Services. Brooks paged the facility for anyone with emergency medical training to respond and then went to the computer room with Traffic Management Coordinator Terry Ryan. When they arrived, Pitt was performing chest compressions on O’Toole. Ryan checked O’Toole for a pulse and didn’t feel one, so he got an AED from the cafeteria. Next to arrive were Technical Operations Specialist Robert Lynn and Controllers Andrew Samour and Josh Hagermann. Lynn began chest compressions while Samour performed mouth-to-mouth ventilations. Ryan connected the AED to defibrillate O’Toole’s heart and Hagermann administered oxygen from his personal medic bag. By the time paramedics arrived 15 minutes after the Emergency Services call, O’Toole had a normal heartbeat and was breathing on his own. After eight days of intensive cardiac care at a local medical center, O’Toole was discharged. His first stop on the way home was to personally thank his rescuers.

FAA Employees Receive Commendation Awards
Left to right: New York TRACON Operations Manager Jeffrey Brooks, Controller Mike Pitt, Technician Robert Lynn, Traffic Management Coordinator Terrence Ryan, Traffic Management Supervisor Christopher Leigh, and Controller Andrew Samour display their "2nd Chance at Life" commendation awards. (Photo: ATO)

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