Airman’s training and quick response saves life

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Wendy Kuhn
  • 121st Air Refueling Wing
Benjamin Franklin once said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." Sometimes the failure is small, but sometimes it can mean the difference between life and death. This was certainly the case when Master Sgt. Todd McGuire, Aircraft Maintenance Squadron First Sergeant, 121st Air Refueling Wing, Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio, assisted a man who had stopped breathing after a diabetic emergency.

On the evening of Jan. 13, 2015, McGuire was leaving a basketball game at Alexander High School in Albany, Ohio, when he heard a young girl screaming for help. When he arrived at the scene, he found the girl's father slumped over in his car. He was unresponsive, not breathing and without a detectable pulse. With the help of another person who responded, he was able to use CPR to revive the man.

McGuire started teaching CPR in 1996 and currently volunteers to teach CPR for his local Red Cross chapter and to the medical students at Ohio University's Heritage College of Medicine. However, he said, in all the years he's taught CPR, this is the first time he has ever had to use it on a real person.

"After training in and teaching CPR as much as I have, the training just kicked in," said McGuire. "I'm very lucky that I already knew what to do to help him out."
CPR training is required every 24 months in the Air National Guard, but training can also be attained through the local Red Cross chapter. Additionally, some churches, school districts and colleges also offer classes, said McGuire.

"If you've been trained, do everything you can. If you have not been trained, get help or call 9-1-1. Not doing anything is the worst thing you can do," said McGuire.
In this case, the man that McGuire helped was a diabetic whose blood sugar had dropped because he had not eaten. When he passed out, he slumped over in the car in a position that cut his airway off, said McGuire. The man has since made a full recovery.

"It's so important for people to pay attention to the training they're getting," said McGuire. "They need to make sure they're doing the techniques properly and in the correct order because it will make a difference. It made a difference for this guy."