Air Serv Employee Adds “Lifesaver” to His List of Job Accomplishments

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Two-year dispatcherÂ?s rapid reflexes in administering CPR and using electronic defibrillator at Cincinnati airport save manÂ?s life

Normally, Ryan Eldridge’s job as a dispatcher for Air Serv, a premier aviation service provider, involves coordinating wheelchair service for passengers at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

But after a recent incident at the airport, Eldridge can now add “lifesaver” to his job accomplishments.

On the afternoon of Jan. 20, even though he was bothered by pain in his shoulder after surgery just a week earlier, Eldridge decided to head into work anyway. Less than an hour after Eldridge arrived, an elderly man collapsed at a nearby gate. In a flash of reflexes, Eldridge, who is also a volunteer at the Hebron County Fire Department, administered CPR, called for an automatic defibrillator and gave two shocks to the man, who was not breathing and was without a pulse.

Eldridge continued his rescue efforts until paramedics arrived several minutes later and took over, saying Eldridge’s actions saved the man’s life. The interesting thing, Eldridge notes, is that he wasn’t planning on going to work that day, but when he couldn’t fall asleep to block out the pain in his shoulder, he figured he may as well go in to see if he was needed.

“There was something going on that day – something was telling me to go in to work,” says Eldridge, who is studying criminal justice at Northern Kentucky University. “When I got there and went to my manager, he told me, ‘We’re not really busy, so you really don’t need to be here.’ Then, about half an hour later, it happened.”

“[The patient] was pretty far along when I got to him. I was actually pretty worried. I definitely consider it a miracle, because he had a lot of things that weren’t going his way.”

The Hebron Fire Department took the patient to St. Luke Hospital West in Florence, where he remained for several days. Eldridge says he was astounded by his speedy recovery – he regained a pulse as he was being lifted onto the stretcher, and on the way to the hospital, paramedics said he was trying to remove the breathing tube they had inserted in his throat. Half an hour later, the patient was talking to his wife on the phone, Eldridge says.

Those who were on the scene say the patient has Eldridge to thank for that. Despite never having used an automatic electronic defibrillator or CPR techniques in a real-life situation before, Eldridge performed like a pro, they say.

“There wasn’t an ounce of hesitation in anything Ryan did at all,” notes Kelly McCane, Air Serv duty manager in Cincinnati and Eldridge’s supervisor who was also on the scene. “If Ryan wouldn’t have been there, the gentlemen would have died right there on the floor. I’d say it took the EMTs seven minutes to respond, and that guy didn’t have seven minutes.”

McCane says Eldridge exemplifies the type of attitude and courage he expects in all Air Serv employees.

“All the compliments I’ve gotten about him in the last week or so – you couldn’t ask for anything better than someone like Ryan,” he says. “I don’t have the ability to hire staff here, but I can weed them in or out. But we have the best staff here in Cincinnati.”

To set up with interviews on Eldridge or other Air Serv sources, please contact Blane Bachelor with Schroder PR at (404) 733-5530, blane@schroderpr.com or Nancy Montgomery at Air Serv, 404.926.4200, nmontgomery@airservcorp.com.

Air Serv, one of the fastest growing companies in the United States, has 4,300 employees serving 25 airlines in 19 markets in the U.S. and Great Britain, offering services such as skycap, baggage handling, wheelchair services and customer service. Founded in May 2002 by aviation service leader Frank Argenbright Jr., the company holds major contracts with leading aviation companies, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Fed Ex

For more information, please contact: Nancy Montgomery, 404.926.4200, or e-mail her at nmontgomery@airservcorp.com. Visit their web site at http://www.airservcorp.com.

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Nancy Montgomery