Veteran Suffering From PTSD Episode on Airplane Receives Help From Firefighter

by Halle Ames
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A veteran who suffered a PTSD related episode on an airplane received help from another first responder, a firefighter. 

There isn’t anything better than good news. And while many may have issues going on behind the scenes, it’s stories like this that remind us to be generous humans to one another. 

It turns out that veterans aren’t always as fearless as they seem, and firefighters don’t just simply fight fires. Captain Bobby Davidson was on a flight home from a family vacation when a fellow passenger suffered a PTSD crisis mid-flight.

On June 15th, during an American Airlines flight, a veteran began suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that is common with military personnel and other first responders. When the scene began to spiral out of control, firefighter Captain Davidson handled the situation safely.   

Captain Davidson of the Burton Fire District in South Carolina acted quickly to give the veteran assistance and prevent the flight from making an emergency landing. Upon suppressing the situation, Captain Davidson was able to calm fellow American Airlines passengers.

It turns out, Captain Davidson was the perfect man for the job. He is part of a support team that helps other firefighters, specifically with tragedy and PTSD, reports Fox News. He acted quickly, incorporating his training to calm the passengers and the veteran on the flight. This let the plane continue to its final destination without conflict. 

Airline Thanks Firefighter For Support

American Airlines sent a letter to the Burton Fire District, which they featured in their Facebook post. The airline company formally thanked the firefighter for his heroic actions during the flight. 

“We are all grateful that you were on board and freely offered your medical expertise when it was needed most,” writes American Airlines. “Mr. Davidson, without a doubt, you greatly improved a difficult situation.”

The full post by the South Carolina Fire Department gives a shout-out to Captain Davidson. 

“15k BONUS MILES! #BurtonFD Captain/EMT was recently recognized by an airline for rendering assistance to a passenger in distress, calming other passengers, and preventing an emergency landing. The flight landed safely on time, at its destination, where the passenger received further aid.”

The post continues, highlighting other brave moments performed by firefighters with their department. 

#BurtonFD firefighters have a history of rendering aid while off duty. In 2016, a Burton firefighter saved a woman off duty by performing CPR. In 2017, an off duty Burton chief rescued two kayakers without flotation who capsized. And in 2019 a Burton chief was recognized for saving a man by performing CPR while in line at Disney.”

Finally, the Burton Fire Department shared what they considered part of the “FirefighterLife” job description. 

“Night and day, we’re always ‘on duty,’ ready, willing, and trained to act. It’s what we do and who we are.”

Thank you, Captain Davidson, as well as all first responders and veterans, for your service to this country and one another. 

Outsider.com