Firefighters Save Passenger Who Turned Gray During Medical Emergency on Flight

A group of firefighters sprung into action after they saw a man experiencing a medical emergency on a commercial flight from Massachusetts to Chicago.

On September 16, seven firefighters from North Attleboro and Foxboro, Massachusetts, were on a Southwest Airlines flight when a passenger started to turn gray during a medical emergency.

The firefighters believed that the man was experiencing symptoms of a possible seizure and became completely unresponsive.

North Attleboro Fire Captain George McKinnon told WBZ-TV on Tuesday that as soon as he and his partners realized that there was an issue, "our training kicked in."

Spirit Airlines Airplane
A group of firefighters sprung into action after they saw a man experiencing a medical emergency on a commercial flight from Massachusetts to Chicago. Pictured above is a photo of a Spirit Airlines airplane. Getty Images

"We do this stuff all over the place in all different kinds of settings," said McKinnon. "I never thought I'd be doing it in an airplane up above."

North Attleboro Fire Chief Chris Coleman told WBZ-TV on Tuesday that they didn't even have to look at each other to troubleshoot the emergency.

"We just simply knew what had to get done. Captain McKinnon did the CPR, I put the IV in, Captain Langille got the AED," Coleman said.

The passenger didn't have a pulse, so an IV was administered in order to get his pulse back, and get both his blood pressure and heart moving.

"The plane had all of the equipment we needed," said Coleman. "After the patient regained consciousness, we started an IV, we gave him some fluid and he remained conscious for the entire flight."

Coleman said that regardless of the time or place, "it's our job."

The firefighters who assisted in the rescue include Chief Chris Coleman; Captain George McKinnon; Captain Josh Langille; Lieutenant Scott Langille; retired firefighters Jeff Badger and Rich McDonagh; and Foxborough Firefighter Cory Shepardson.

North Attleboro Fire Deputy Chief Michael Chabot issued a statement to WBZ-TV regarding the actions of the group of firefighters.

"The heroic actions of these firefighters today echo our mantra that we are never truly off-duty should any emergency occur," said Chabot. "Their swift action and determination, even at 30,000 feet in the air, is a testament to their unwavering preparedness and professionalism."

There have been a number of police incidents and medical emergencies that have occurred in 2021 on various flights across the country.

Most recently, a Black Muslim woman was allegedly struck and called a terrorist by an airline passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight while traveling on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Newsweek reached out to the North Attleboro fire department for further comments.