Firefighters Put Their Prototype Stretcher to the Test at Kennedy


 
 

Laura Rivera | | Tuesday, October 16, 2007


MELVILLE, N.Y.-- A trio of current and former city firefighters taking a business trip to promote a lifesaving rescue device they invented had an unexpected chance to put it to good use yesterday when a man on their plane suffered a heart attack.

Firefighter Thomas Fee and retired lieutenants Michael Harty and Frank Haskell boarded the early-morning flight at Kennedy Airport yesterday, on their way to meet a manufacturer for a small, lightweight stretcher they designed to transport sick or wounded people.

They took a prototype of the stretcher aboard, not knowing that within minutes, a fellow passenger would have a heart attack.

"I saw the face of his son," said Fee, 40, of South Hempstead. "You could see his fear."

Fee, Harty and Haskell sprang out of their seats, administered CPR and oxygen, and used a defibrillator given them by flight attendants to shock the unconscious patient in the chest, they said.

After stabilizing him, the firefighters used the stretcher -- which they call a rescue sled -- to take him down the airplane stairs to the terminal, from where paramedics took him to Jamaica Hospital in Queens, they said.

"We realized we had to move him quickly down the aisle," said Harty, 53, of West Islip. "We're just so happy we saved a life."

Hospital officials could not immediately confirm the heart attack victim's identity or condition last night.

Haskell, 48, of West Islip, said the city's Fire Department has asked for prototypes of the rescue sled for field testing.

Once their rescue mission was completed, the local heroes continued to their destination in Tennessee yesterday to try to make the rescue sled available to emergency responders everywhere.

"The bottom line is that we saved his life," he said. "Without this stretcher, it may have turned out different."


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Cardiac and Circulation, Medical Emergencies

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Mechanical CPR is Producing Resuscitation Results Beyond Expectations

Discover why clinical studies are finding mechanical CPR just as effective as optimally-performed CPR.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New York First Responders Take Extraordinary Steps to Help Residents

Snow causes fire and EMS crews to go beyond call of duty.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Raw Video: Explosion and Fire at California Business

Over a dozen hurt in Santa Paula blaze.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Four Workers Killed at Texas Chemical Plant

Five employees exposed to methyl mercaptan in La Porte.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Worker Killed in North Carolina Bridge Collapse

A fatal construction site collapse occurred in Wake County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Plane Crashes into Chicago Home

Pilot reported engine trouble after takeoff.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Switzerland Landslide Kills Two, Injures Four

Slide hits residential building near Lugano.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

World Trade Center Rescue

Technical rescue work is done at nation’s tallest skyscraper.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >