Phoenix Sky Harbor
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Sky Harbor at Night

A Grateful Reunion

by Public Relations | Published On: May 11, 2015 | Last Updated: 

43rd AED Save Press ConferenceOn Friday, March 27, Robert Sempowski was returning home with his wife Erlinda from a vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. As they approached Customs & Immigration, Robert mentioned that he didn’t feel well and that he was going to faint. Sempowski experienced a cardiac event and fell. His wife administered CPR until Phoenix Fire Station 19 Bike Teams Sky 41 and Sky 42 arrived on-site and used an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Additional members from Phoenix Fire arrived on-scene, and members from Aviation Operations were also present to assist. It was the quick actions by his wife and Phoenix Fire that saved his life. On Monday, May 11, Robert returned to Phoenix Sky Harbor to thank those who saved him.

Deputy Aviation Director for Operations Steve Grubbs applauded the quick thinking by staff for their efforts at saving another life. In fact, this is the 43rd life that has been saved at Sky Harbor since the program began in 2001. And, Steve commended the bike teams for their very quick response time – under two minutes.

Dr. John Gallagher from Phoenix Fire explained how important AEDs are and having the training to use them. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport regularly trains employees and volunteers to administer CPR and correctly use AEDs in the event of an emergency. CPR Training is taught by Phoenix Fire Paramedics. More than 2,000 Airport employees and volunteer Navigators have been trained. There are more than 85 AEDs available at Phoenix Sky Harbor, Phoenix Deer Valley and Phoenix Goodyear airports. There are AEDs in the PHX Sky Train® stations as well.

A very grateful Robert thanked and enjoyed meeting each of those who helped him. Staff, too, was honored to see Robert and Linda again.

Members of Phoenix Fire who were recognized were: Dean Barnella, Frank Contreras, Boe Garry, John Kanter, Boyd Sanders, and Scott Wheat. Aviation Operations staff were Reid Halpern, Robert Heisel and Victorine Stovall.

See a video of the press conference.

See a video of the press conference.
See a video of the press conference.