NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WBZ-TV) – Many of the calls firefighters go on are medical emergencies, where someone needs help. Most firefighters have EMT or paramedic training, but it’s not often they have to use it at 30,000 feet.

“As soon as we recognized there was a problem, our training kicked in,” said North Attleboro Fire Captain George McKinnon. “We do this stuff all over the place in all different kinds of settings. I never thought I’d be doing it in an airplane up above.”

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Last week, seven firefighters from North Attleboro and Foxboro, Massachusetts were on a Southwest Airlines flight to Chicago. A nearby passenger was having a medical problem, then, he turned gray. The firefighters didn’t hesitate.

A group of North Attleboro and Foxboro firefighters saved a man’s life on a flight from Boston to Chicago (Image credit Heidi Poulin)

“We did not even have to look at each other,” said North Attleboro Fire Chief Chris Coleman. “We just simply knew what had to get done. Captain McKinnon did the CPR, I put the IV in, Captain Langille got the AED.”

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The plane had all of the equipment the firefighters needed. “After the patient regained consciousness, we started an IV, we gave him some fluid and he remained conscious for the entire flight,” Chief Coleman said.

The passenger had no pulse, it was that bad. But the firefighters got a pulse back, got his blood pressure up and heart going. The flight continued on to Chicago. “We do it every day,” Chief Coleman said. “Whether it’s 30,000 feet in the air or on the sidewalk in North Attleboro. It’s our job.”

The group was traveling to Denver to visit the Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

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The firefighters involved in the rescue were Chief Chris Coleman, Capt. George McKinnon, Capt. Josh Langille, Lt. Scott Langille, retired firefighters Jeff Badger and Rich McDonagh, and Foxborough Firefighter Cory Shepardson.