Firefighter Saves Plane Passenger, Again

It's happened twice to him in 3 years
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2016 1:32 PM CDT
Firefighter Saves Plane Passenger, Again
An unrelated image from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Austin Bleiweiss has helped to save the life of one of his fellow plane passengers not once, but twice. Most recently, the firefighter and paramedic was on his way home to Florida from Puerto Rico last Tuesday when he was awoken by a flight attendant screaming for help. A man had lost consciousness and didn't have a pulse, so Bleiweiss started giving him CPR. Three years ago, on his way to Las Vegas, he'd done chest compressions on another man who lost consciousness, so when he heard the screaming last week, he thought to himself, "This can't be happening two times in my life," he tells the Naples Daily News.

But, since he'd done it before, he knew what to expect: He got an oxygen mask from the plane's medical kit, and after about four minutes of CPR, he used the plane's defibrillator on the man. His pulse came back and he started breathing on his own, while the pilot made an emergency landing. "He had basically just died," Bleiweiss says of the passenger. "He went into cardiac arrest. I tried to remain calm and tell him what happened" after he woke up. Passengers clapped for Bleiweiss after paramedics took the man off the plane, and he was also commended by the acting fire chief and city officials in Naples. (More uplifting news stories.)

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