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Aviano Airman Saves Life

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Noah Sudolcan
  • 31st Fighter Wing

Have you ever sat down to accomplish one of your computer-based trainings and thought to yourself ‘Will I ever actually need to use this’? For Tech. Sgt Timothy Herrell, 31st Fighter Wing weapons safety manager, the need for those CBT’s became a little too real.

Herrell was at the Paris Charles International Airport on a four-hour layover back to Aviano from a TDY, when he noticed a gentleman going into respiratory distress.

“I was waiting for my flight back to Aviano when I noticed the man sitting in front of me wasn’t breathing,” said Herrell. “His head fell back and his stomach stopped moving.”

Herrell realized he was the only person who noticed the gentleman and thought ‘Hey we need to do something’.

“I walked up to the gentleman and shook him,” said Herrell. “I was hoping he was in a deep sleep, but I didn’t receive a response, so I checked his pulse.”

The gentleman’s pulse was faint and Herrell called for a medical professional.

“After I called for help a nurse came over and confirmed he was in cardiac arrest and that we needed to perform CPR.”

After performing compressions, Herrell ran upstairs to retrieve an automated external defibrillator (AED) and alert the staff about the medical emergency.

“I was honestly scared; It was my first time using an AED on someone. I didn’t know if I was doing what I needed to correctly, but in that moment all my training came back to me.”

Herrell hooked up the AED to the gentleman and ran an assessment.

“‘Recommend shock’ appeared on the screen,” said Herrell. “We shocked him once, still no pulse, so we shocked again, we finally got a pulse, and he began to breath on his own.”

After the adrenaline left, Herrell recalls the moment being surreal and reflected on the different classes; CPR, Self-Aid buddy care and others, that helped him remember the necessary steps to save this man’s life.

“I feel really good, somebody’s husband, dad, grandpa, got to be home for the holidays. His wife called me a few days later to thank me and inform me that he is doing ok.”