Their vacation was over, and Joseph Oginski and his family were waiting at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers for the flight home to Great Neck on July 4.
Suddenly, a gate attendant screamed, “There’s someone down!” Oginski looked at his father, Gerry, then rushed over, announcing, “I’m a firefighter and first responder. Can I help you?”
The 75-year-old victim was turning blue with no pulse or signs of breathing when Oginski, 17, a newly minted firefighter with the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company, reached him.
Trained in CPR, Oginski asked a port authority officer for a pocket face mask to administer rescue breaths and advised the gate attendant to begin chest compressions
Five minutes later, another officer arrived with an automatic external defibrillator.
When the defibrillator was in place, Joseph used the equipment to shock the man, who did not respond. He resumed the rescue breathing and chest compressions, followed by another shock.
In all, it took three jolts from the defibrillator and continuing CPR maneuvers to restore breath and a pulse to the gentleman.
The team used the device to restore the man’s pulse, and he started breathing on his own.
Two medical crews arrived shortly after to take over, Oginski said.
“I was happy after working on him, and it made me feel good to know that everything I’d learned and put to use was successful.”
“The feeling was incredible watching my son help save a life,” said Gerry Oginski, 45, a lawyer.
“My wife and I felt so proud to see his training kick in automatically, and to see him take charge of a medical emergency in such a calm and professional manner.”