To respect the privacy (and the humility) of our technician, we have changed his name for the purpose of this story.
At Airway Services, safety is always at the forefront of everything we do. That includes when we’re working on projects and it even includes when our technicians are off the clock, simply living their lives.
Such was the case recently when one of our technicians, let’s call him Charlie, rushed to try and save the life of a stranger on the side of the road.
Back in April of this year, Charlie was driving down the road and saw a vehicle veer off the side of the road and hit a telephone pole.
“He hit the telephone pole on the driver’s side of his truck and, when he did that, his truck landed parked in the middle of the road,” Charlie said. “I saw it all happen, and another gentleman did too, so we both got out and went to his truck to see if he was awake.”
Charlie said the man was unconscious and also had a very slight pulse.
At the same time, the man’s wife also happened to be driving down the road, coming home from a baseball game. She pulled over and Charlie asked her if the man was diabetic, or if he had any other health concerns that might have contributed to the accident.
She confirmed that he was, in fact, diabetic.
“So I went to check for a pulse again,” Charlie remembered. “And I didn’t feel one. I didn’t feel anything. So, I started performing reps [chest compressions] while the ambulance and the firetrucks and all of those were on their way. I kept doing reps. And I’d say it was probably not even two minutes or so before the firetruck and ambulance came over and then they took over, and the police showed up and I gave them my report.”
Previously, Charlie had worked as a firefighter. So he was trained in First Aid and CPR.
“Ever since I was, like, 16 or 17 I’ve always been CPR certified,” he stated. “Because you just never know. This was the first time I ever had to use it, but I used to fight wildfires and stuff like that, so we were trained for that.”
First aid training is also a major component of Airway Services.
As our website states, “With an industry-leading commitment to safety, our goal at Airway Services is to achieve zero incidents every day. That commitment to excellence in our safety standards is the key reason our technicians receive continuous, comprehensive and state-of-the-art safety training and employ the latest in safety technology.”
Part of that training includes First Aid and CPR.
“Airway’s training was a pretty good refresher,” Charlie revealed. “I think it had been, like, a year since I had done a CPR class. So when I went to Airway and they did their First Aid and all of their other training, it really kicked in and helped me remember things.”
Though this was the first time Charlie had ever needed to utilize his training, he didn’t hesitate to begin issuing chest compressions on the man, as soon as he realized that he needed them.
When something like this happens, when tragedy strikes and you are thrust into a position that you never expected to be in, four things can happen. Most human beings experience one of four responses: Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Fawn. All of these reactions are perfectly normal, but when faced with a do-or-die situation, one like what Charlie was in, it was important to act. To fight. And that’s exactly what Charlie did. He fought for this man. He did everything he knew how to do and he didn’t stop fighting until actual medical personnel arrived on scene.
“During the moment, I didn’t really feel anything at all because I was just pumped so full of adrenaline,” he said.
He could have just driven off. He could have looked the other way and said ‘Not my problem.’ But that’s not the kind of man that Charlie is. When he saw something was wrong, when he saw somebody was in trouble, he didn’t hesitate. He rushed to the scene and did everything he could to save the life of a man he had never met.
And he didn’t do it for the recognition. He didn’t do it for the accolades. He did it, simply, because it was the right thing to do.
At Airway Services, we train our people to be the best employees they can be. We give them opportunities to better themselves, to train, to learn something new. There are many things about this job that we can teach. But we can’t teach integrity. We can’t teach courage. Those are things that have to be inherent; they have to come from inside. Charlie, as well as every other member of the Airway Services Crew, has that integrity. He has that courage. And it was something he carried with him, long before he ever walked through our doors.
“I just sort of did what I thought was right,” he said. “You know, if that was me in that position, I would want somebody to try and help me.”