Frank Swiger was flying from Cleveland to Los Angeles earlier this year when he put into practice the training he has taught for 10 years.
In April, Swiger, director of education and operations for Complient Corp., was three hours into a cross-country flight when he heard yelling and turned to see a panicked woman in the aisle holding a limp toddler.
Most of the passengers had headphones on, absorbed in the in-flight movie. A few moments earlier, the 2-year-old child had gotten something lodged in her throat and began choking. Now she was turning blue and was unresponsive.
Although Swiger manages trainers across the country who, in turn, have trained more than 250,000 people in emergency medical responses, he had never been involved in a real-life rescue.
“I was nervous when I saw her (the mother) walking up the aisle,” admits Swiger. “But once I grabbed her (the child), I was fine. I took control of the situation.”
Swiger performed a choking rescue maneuver, which cleared the child’s airway. Today, she is fine.
“You never really expect to use that training until it actually happens,” says Swiger.
Complient’s workplace health and safety solutions are designed to prepare people for just such an emergency.
“I knew the skills and I was able to provide some sort of method to what we were doing to avoid chaos,” he says.
Legislation passed this year by the Federal Aviation Administration requires all commercial airliners, within the next three years, to put in place a program that provides an automated external defibrillator and enhanced emergency medical kit on all flights. Having the right equipment on hand creates a greater sense of safety.
But Swiger says it is the emergency training that makes the difference between life and death.
“That’s what we’re all about here at Complient, helping our customers provide a safer workplace for their employees, visitors and customers.”
How to reach: Complient, (440) 519-2670