Local firefighter helps save man on flight

Grants Pass, Ore,. — “We’re never truly off duty in the fire service.”

When the sirens go off, it’s time to work.

“I’ve been doing this for 26 years.”

For Grants Pass Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Tim Delisle, being a trained EMT is just part of the job description.

“In the fire service now, our ems calls are about 70 to 80 percent of our call volume.”

So when a call for help came at 30-thousand feet, he jumped into action.

“For me it was kind of second nature to stand up and start going into the job.”

Delisle along with three other firefighters and a doctor were all on board a flight from Baltimore to Seattle, when a man went into cardiac arrest.

“I kind of had my eyes closed, listening to music, trying to relax, and I felt and heard a real loud crash – and I looked down, and a gentleman had passed out right at my seat.”

Delisle helped stabilize the man, and keep him healthy until the plane could land.

But this isn’t the first, or second time Delisle has sprung into action off duty.

“I’ve had a cardiac arrest in my own house from a contractor. We were doing a kitchen remodel, and first day of the remodel he suffered a heart attack and cardiac arrest on the floor, and I did CPR on him.”

And while some might say Delisle is a hero, he won’t describe himself that way.

“I don’t look at it as that, it’s part of the job, it’s what I’ve been trained to do, I don’t see myself a hero. I know any firefighter or EMT in my position would’ve done the exact same thing.”

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