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Off-duty firefighter saves passenger's life during mid-flight cardiac arrest

Business Insider logo Business Insider 10/10/2019 David Slotnick
a group of people standing in front of a window posing for the camera © Savannah Fire Rescue/Business Insider
  • An off-duty firefighter from Georgia performed CPR for more than 30 minutes after a fellow passenger on his flight to Los Angeles suffered a cardiac arrest mid-flight.
  • The flight made an emergency landing and the victim was taken to the hospital, where she regained consciousness and showed no signs of brain damage from the incident.
  • "She is my sister, and he saved her. I can't thank him enough and I just wanted to make people aware, he's a hero," the victim's brother said, according to the fire department.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A Savannah, Georgia firefighter was in the right place at the right time during a recent flight, when a fellow passenger's heart stopped beating in mid-air.

The incident, which happened in September but was only announced by Savannah Fire & Rescue on October 9, was first reported by WJCL-TV.

Firefighter Trevor Jaha was flying to Los Angeles on September 14 when a passenger, identified only as "Chelsea" in a Facebook post by the fire department, suffered a cardiac arrest.

Firefighter Jaha sprang into action and began performing CPR and administering shocks with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), according to the fire department.

Related Facebook post

Shared from Facebook

The plane changed course to make an emergency landing as firefighter Jaha continued performing CPR. After four AED shocks, the victim was still pulseless.

However, after a fifth shock, the hero firefighter felt a faint pulse. The plane landed and was met by emergency services, who brought Chelsea to a nearby hospital.

After a hospital stay, Chelsea was doing well, the department said, showing no signs of brain damage from the prolonged mid-air cardiac arrest.

"She is my sister, and he saved her. I can't thank him enough and I just wanted to make people aware, he's a hero," said the victim's brother, Josh, according to the fire department.

Related Facebook post

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The survival rate for cardiac arrest that occurs outside of a hospital is only about 10%, according to the American Heart Association. However, the rate can jump to as high as 45% when CPR was administered immediately.

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