Some superheroes are known for their ability to fly – and on Sept. 15, two were aboard American Airlines flight 1220 to Dallas.
Planning to honor five West Palm Beach, Florida Local 2928 members who were being added to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Wall, Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics of Palm Beach County members Captain Eric Price and firefighter/paramedic Samuel Adler boarded a flight to Dallas, where they would then catch a connecting flight to Colorado.
Approximately 35 minutes into the flight, a passenger fainted directly next to their seats in the plane’s aisle.
“We were flying from Palm Beach to Colorado Springs when a passenger had a syncopal episode right in front of us,” Adler said.
Price and Adler immediately jumped into action, identifying themselves as paramedics. They took the passenger to the back of the plane and began to perform medical assessments on her.
After Price coordinated with the in-flight physician over the phone, Price and Adler were given access to the plane’s Advanced Life Support bag, enabling them to provide her with oxygen and start an IV line to administer necessary fluids.
Planes lack important tools or machinery such as an electrocardiography machine that limits the type of medical intervention that can be completed.
“With the limited supplies on the plane, we thought it was a good idea to get her emergency medical care,” Adler explained, “You really can’t assess somebody without the proper equipment.”
Upon Price and Adler’s recommendation, the flight crew made the decision to divert the plane and make an emergency landing at the New Orleans airport, where the passenger was rushed to a local hospital by the New Orleans International Airport Fire Department
Adler said any IAFF member would have stepped in and done the same.
“We just wanted to do the right thing,” he said. “It’s what we do for a living.”