CHICAGO -- Two Chicago police officers were recognized Friday for helping save the life of a man who suffered a medical emergency at Midway Airport. It's the second time this week officers have been hailed as heroes for taking quick action for saving a life.
Stationed at Midway Airport, officers Walter Bland and John Munoz moved without hesitating to help an older man in distress on Thursday.
The man was inside Harry Caray's waiting for a flight when his heart stopped. Munoz, who was on patrol in the terminal, started CPR. Bland rushed to the restaurant to relieve him.
"He scooted to the left, I scooted in and positioned my palm, and I continued on with the chest compressions," Bland said.
Munoz attached a portable automatic external defibrillator, or AED, on the man's chest, but by then, his heart was beating and the device signaled it didn't need to be activated.
"He finally came to, said he didn't know what happened and that's when the ambulance arrived," Munoz said.
Paramedics got there and he is now under the care of MacNeal Hospital.
"There was also an off-duty Chicago paramedic that stood by to make sure everything was OK," said Sgt. Maria Whiteside.
Though not visiting grandchildren with his wife as planned, the man is alive. Police say he was taking several medications for his cardiac history, and had stents put in three years ago. These two officers, each with careers of almost three decades on the force, say the rescue may not have happened were it not for the CPR training they received for the first time, just three weeks ago.
"Every officer assigned to Midway Aiport is going to be trained so if an incident happens again, we can respond confidently without hesitation as we did yesterday," Bland said
Chicago police say there have been 84 lives saved through CPR at O'Hare and Midway since officers began CPR training in 1999. There are 110 AEDs in place throughout the two airports. More of us, officers say, should know how to use them.
"This is just part of our job, and I thank God that I was trained properly and able to respond without hesitation," Bland said.