Posted on 05/09/2014

I am pleased to nominate the team of FAA Inspector Ron Noe, FAA Inspector Ray Trevino, American Airlines pilot Captain Frank Meyer and a second, unidentified, American Airlines pilot for the People Saving People Award. Though they had not worked together as a team prior to the sudden cardiac arrest that Capt. Matt Taylor suffered, they immediately worked together to give Capt. Taylor a “second chance at life”!

Ron and Ray are Aviation Safety Inspectors in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They are not trained medical personnel and their job does not require them to perform CPR or use an AED. But, when FAA offered CPR/AED training at their facility through a contract with Emergency University, they volunteered. They invested about 3 ½ hours in the training.

Then, on the morning of December 16, 2011, they went to the American Airlines Training Facility at the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport in Texas to conduct routine inspections. When they went to the cafeteria between inspections, they heard what sounded like snoring. They looked around the corner and saw Capt. Taylor, a healthy 51-year old male American Airlines pilot, lying on the floor, unconscious, with labored breathing.

Ray checked for a pulse, and thought he felt one. Capt. Taylor’s breathing slowed, then stopped, and his lips turned blue. Ron saw an AED cabinet nearby and retrieved the airway mask. He and the unidentified pilot began CPR. Frank heard the alarm, brought the AED to Ray, and they attached it to Capt. Taylor. The AED read the heart rhythm, and advised a shock. They stood back and pressed the button. The AED delivered the shock and advised them to resume CPR, which they did. Within about 30 seconds, Capt. Taylor’s color returned, and he soon regained consciousness. As Ron phrased it, “It was like his soul returned.”

There were many people in the cafeteria at the time, standing back (way back!) and just watching. Only these four men responded. When the paramedics arrived, they credited the prompt actions of these four as making the difference between life and death. They took Capt. Taylor to the hospital and he was discharged, fully functional, in time to spend the holidays with his family.

A couple of months later, his wife gave birth to their daughter. Capt. Taylor recently said “If it were not for those guys, my daughter would never know what it is like to be held and loved by her father.”

Nominated by Thomas T. Holloway, Washington, DC