Asst. fire chief saves man on flight home from slain firefighter’s memorial

St. Paul Assistant Fire Chief Mike Gaede helped a doctor treat the man until the plane could make an emergency landing


By FireRescue1 Staff

DETROIT — An assistant fire chief who was flying home after attending the memorial of a slain firefighter helped save a man who suffered a medical emergency on the flight.

Inforum reported that St. Paul Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief and EMT Mike Gaede were on a flight back home from a memorial for David Rosa, who was fatally shot at an explosion scene, when he heard an announcement over the intercom.

"If there are any doctors on the plane, please identify yourself. We're in need of a doctor,” the announcement said.

Gaede said he turned around and saw a man with an ashen gray face and “immediately recognized [he] was in bad shape.”

A doctor was applying pressure to the man’s sternum with her knuckles, but the man still did not wake up.

"That's what really got my attention," he said.

Gaede jumped into action and helped the doctor treat the man, giving him oxygen and an IV until the flight could be diverted to Detroit.

The incident was a reminder for Gaede of why he became a first responder.

"On the plane, when we were working on the man, it strangely felt like another day at work — I just went into work mode," he said. "After it ended, though, I thought, 'I was on that plane for a reason.'"

According to a flight attendant, the man was transported to a hospital and was being treated. His condition is unknown.

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