Hero Flight Attendant Puts Training in Action to Save a Life

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Hero Flight Attendant Keairra Moore

Compass flight attendant Keairra Moore was in the baggage claim area at LAX recently when she heard someone screaming for help.  A man in his early 60s was laying on the ground, his face and fingertips blue.  He had stopped breathing.  In the moments that followed, Keairra’s flight attendant training saved the man’s life.

Compass flight attendants must be prepared to deal with any type of emergency that they may encounter during a flight.  Before a Compass Flight Attendant is released from training, they must first undergo weeks of preparation that includes emergency equipment operation, self-defense, and life-saving techniques, including CPR.

While other passengers in the vicinity pulled out their cell phones to call 911, Keairra says that her instincts and training took over.  She asked another employee to find a defibrillator to re-start the man’s heart, while she started CPR chest compressions and rescue breaths.  She did CPR for around five minutes, until the other employee arrived with a defibrillator.

After the defibrillator was connected, the passenger regained consciousness.  Keairra kept him calm until the paramedics arrived, and even had the presence of mind to check and see if the passenger had any medications so she could have them ready for the paramedics.

“Keairra did a great job of calmly taking command of a stressful situation,” said Compass Inflight Supervisor Nicole Miller.  “The entire Compass family is so proud of her actions, which undoubtedly saved this man’s life.”

Compass Flight Attendants Prepare for Medical Emergencies at 40,000 Feet

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Compass Inflight Instructor Shelle Gustafson had the opportunity to listen in on MedAire calls from around the world at MedAire’s global response service center in Phoenix.

To the average passenger, it may seem like a flight attendant’s main responsibilities are serving drinks and demonstrating how to use the seatbelt properly.  However, there’s a lot more to it than that – flight attendants must also be prepared to deal with any emergency they may encounter during a flight.  Before a Compass flight attendant is released from training, they must first undergo weeks of preparation that includes emergency equipment operation, self-defense, and life-saving techniques, including CPR.

One of the most stressful situations that a flight attendant can face in the air is a passenger experiencing a medical emergency.  Flight attendants must stay calm and administer emergency medical treatment until the passenger stabilizes or until the flight is able to land.  If a passenger takes ill in the air, flight crews contact MedAire, an emergency response service that provides medical guidance remotely.  MedAire gauges the severity of the situation and advises the crew how to react – some passengers may only need fluids or oxygen administered, while more serious emergencies may justify diverting the flight.  Should a diversion be warranted, MedAire works with Compass pilots to determine where the flight should divert to, based on the passenger’s medical needs and the aircraft’s location at the time.

Compass Inflight Instructors like Elizabeth Blair are responsible for preparing student flight attendants for medical emergencies that they may face on the job.  Recently, Elizabeth and other Inflight Instructors traveled to Phoenix, where they spent two days receiving advanced training, as well as studying CPR and first aid, with MedAire emergency response experts.  While in Phoenix, the team also had the opportunity to observe MedAire’s global response service center, where communication specialists, emergency physicians, and nurses respond to inflight calls from around the world, ranging from minor to major medical emergencies.

The training highlighted just how important it is for Inflight Instructors to stay current on the most up-to-date emergency medical procedures – even an experienced Instructor like Elizabeth learned something new.  “I learned that there is a specific CPR position called airplane CPR,” she said, “which should be used when CPR is being given in the aisle of an airplane.”  Elizabeth found the training to be immensely valuable, and went on to remark

“As flight attendants, we must be empowered to make the best possible decisions when it comes to our passengers’ safety.  This training has enhanced our ability to do just that.  We are looking forward to incorporating what we learned into our flight attendant training program.”

If you love to travel, have exemplary customer service skills and stay cool under pressure, becoming a flight attendant could be a great fit for you.  Visit our website to learn more and apply online.

Compass Flight Attendants Spend Vacation Giving Back

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Compass flight attendants Judy Champa and Sarah Perdue

This spring, two Compass flight attendants spent their vacation time doing something decidedly different than relaxing on a beach or catching up on sleep.  Judy Champa and Sarah Perdue used their vacation time to travel to Guatemala and help build a house for a family in need.

Judy and Sarah traveled to Guatemala as part of the God’s Child Project, a non-denominational initiative dedicated to fighting poverty around the globe.  God’s Child’s work in Guatemala includes the Dreamer Center in the city of Antigua, which provides health care, education, and crisis intervention services to the local population, as well as Casa Jackson, a hospital that cares for severely malnourished infants and children.   God’s Child also operates a homeless shelter, an orphanage, a drug treatment center, and numerous other educational programs for impoverished children across Guatemala.  Volunteers from all over the world travel to Guatemala to help God’s Child provide services ranging from feeding and rocking babies, to teaching orphans and building homes.

Judy and Sarah were part of a team of God’s Child volunteers tasked with building a home for a family, who was at the time, living in a hut made of sugarcane stalks with a dirt floor.  It took a lot of hard work, but the team was able to finish the family’s new home in just three days.

On day one, the volunteers dug a trench for the house’s foundation, which was made of three layers of brick and mortar.

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On day two, wood was cut to frame the house, and volunteers mixed and poured concrete for the floor.  “All tools were powered by pure muscle,” Judy said.  “Mixing concrete by hand is an arduous job but well worth it – a concrete floor versus a dirt floor can cut disease by up to 70%,” she added.

framing

On day three, the volunteers put the finishing touches on the house, including the signature blue paint that identifies houses built by the God’s Child organization.  A door and window were installed, as well as gutters to guide the rain away from the new home.

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“Turning over the house was quite emotional for the family, as well as for volunteers,” Judy said.  “The family presented each volunteer with a handmade card expressing their gratitude for their hard work.”

In addition to building the home, the volunteers took advantage of their time in Guatemala to tour the local God’s Child facilities, including the Dreamer Center and Casa Jackson.  They also distributed clothing to about 200 families (clothing for donation is brought by the many volunteers in their checked bags), and served dinner to the homeless at the project’s Santa Madre Homeless Shelter.

Both Judy and Sarah plan to return to Guatemala next March, and encourage anyone interested in volunteering to join them.  International volunteer work is a great fit for airline employees, as most organizations require volunteers to pay for their own airfare.  Sarah and Judy used their flight benefits to fly to Guatemala, and each paid just over $50 each way.  Judy flew on American (RNO/LAX/MIA/GUA), while Sarah flew American on the way there (DFW/GUA), and Delta on the way back (GUA/ATL).

To learn more about how you can get involved with this worthy organization, please visit godschild.org.

Compass Flight Attendant Doubles as Mrs. Claus for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

Los Angeles-based Flight Attendant Deborah Gorney has found a pretty remarkable way to give back to the community in her spare time.  For the past 7 years, she’s been part of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Volunteer Mounted Unit with her horse, Luke.  These trained volunteers act as “extra eyes” for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, providing mounted observation patrols everywhere from busy mall parking lots to high school sporting events.  The mounted volunteers also appear with the Sheriff’s department at community outreach events and school visits.

3Each December, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sponsors a number of Santa appearances in the communities it serves.  Several years ago, Deborah’s volunteer work took a festive turn when she was asked to assume the role of Mrs. Claus at these annual events.  In this guest post, Deborah relates what it’s like to spend her Decembers as Mrs. Claus, and why the experience has meant so much to her.

I have been working with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for many years now.  I started in the mounted unit doing trail patrols, as well as appearing at law enforcement events in the school and community with my Sheriff horse, Luke.

One day, my Sergeant approached me and asked if I would become the department’s Mrs. Santa Claus.  He and his wife had been playing Santa and Mrs. Claus, but they they were retiring, and the department needed a new team.  Of course I agreed!  My Lieutenant and long time friend, Karl Claas, agreed to be Santa so that we could be a team. It was going to be so wonderful making thousands of children happy during the Christmas season!

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During these events, Santa and Mrs. Claus ride a sleigh pulled by a Sheriff department truck.  We are escorted by many Deputy Sheriffs in their patrol cars.  They let the kids know we’re on our way by flashing their horns, making announcements over the PA system, and sounding their horns and sirens.

We do this for three weeks in December, almost every night.  We have anywhere from 12-18 stops per night, and we cover the areas Palos Verdes, Lomita, and San Pedro.  Each night, about 400 to 500 children visit us. They sit on our laps and tell us what they would like for Christmas.  The little ones usually prefer to sit on Mrs. Claus’ lap because Santa can be a little intimidating when you’re little.  Besides, everyone knows that Mrs. Claus loves babies!

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Santa and I love making the children happy.  Their eyes sparkle when they see us and, it’s priceless! However, Santa and I have also heard many sad things from young children.  Some children have asked Santa and I to bring them shoes, because they didn’t have any.  Others only wanted a little Christmas tree because their families couldn’t afford one. Some just want their parents to stop fighting.  Others just wanted us to talk to their mom in heaven for them.

One day, Santa and I decided to do something to help these children.  We started keeping track of children in need and asked Deputies to get their addresses. With the Sheriffs station’s help, we would get them the things they needed so desperately.

It didn’t stop there!  We started getting requests to visit families who had children with disabilities that wouldn’t allow them to come see us on the sleigh.  Of course, we went to their homes and brought them gifts!  We also started getting requests to make appearances at different events and at schools for special needs children and adults alike.

Sometimes our days go from early in the morning to late at night.  But it’s for such a wonderful cause! During a recent event, we visited a military base and brought toys to the children of active duty military personnel.  We love making children of all ages happy.  It is the most rewarding experience ever.  We would not trade it for anything.

When I was younger, Christmas was always my favorite time of the year.  Now I understand that together, we can make a difference in children’s lives over the holidays.

With Love from Santa and Mrs. Claus

From Mrs. Claus and the entire Compass team, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!