Jeff Smith, NBC 5 News
Congressmen from Texas and California jumped to the aid of an American Airlines passenger in medical distress Thursday, helping him regain consciousness.
Two United States congressmen, one from Texas and another from California, helped revive a passenger who passed out on a flight from Washington, D.C. to Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday.
On the way to DFW International Airport, the pilot made an emergency landing in Raleigh due to the passenger in distress.
Meanwhile, in the cabin, Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), a trained ER doctor, jumped into action during the flight. He provided the male passenger oxygen, checked his vital signs and even put on an defibrillator.
Congressman Pete Gallego (D-Texas), out of San Antonio, also assisted in the resuscitation.
Ruiz estimated the passenger to be in his mid-60s.
"I'm an emergency medicine physician by heart, and my spirit felt alive, I was in my element. I was providing emergency care to somebody who needed it at the time and it felt real good," Ruiz told NBC 5 DFW after the plane landed in Dallas.
After landing, Gallego tweeted the following:
Hope @CongressmanRuiz is on all my flights home! An emergency room dr by training, was impressive to see him in action. He saves lives!
— Pete Gallego (@petegallego) October 24, 2013
Paramedics escorted that passenger off the plane in Raleigh and rushed him to an area hospital. He was alert and talking with paramedics by the time the plane landed. His name and an updated condition weren't available.
Ruiz told NBC 5 this isn't the first time this has happened. He said he's been able to help save a handful of other passengers who've passed out on flights home from D.C.