A call for help, saves a life

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Colby L. Hardin
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

After hearing a call for help from a side office, Airmen from the 22nd Maintenance Group sprang into action and ultimately saved the life of the member.


Brian Hansen, 22nd Maintenance Operations Flight engine manager, sat down to eat lunch April 20, when he felt a sharp pain in his chest.


The pain that Hansen felt was a heart attack.


“I don’t really remember much of what happened during that time,” said Hansen. “All I know is that when I called for help, they were there within seconds trying to help me.”


Staff Sgt. Chelsa Woodward, 22nd MXO wing maintenance analyst, who was in a nearby office and a CPR instructor, heard the call and ran to Hansen where she quickly recognized the signs of cardiac arrest and went into action.


Woodward started performing CPR while directing Senior Airman Eric Higgerson, 22nd MXO maintenance scheduler, to call for help and grab first aid equipment.


Staff Sgt. Richard Christensen, 22nd MXO analysis NCO in-charge, called 911 and described the situation to the dispatcher.


“I just happened to be walking by when I saw all of the commotion,” said Master Sgt. Edward Musterer, 22nd MXG production superintendent. “When I got to the room, Sgt. Woodward looked up at me and alerted me that he was not breathing. I checked his vitals and confirmed he wasn’t breathing and had no pulse.”


After getting off the phone with the dispatcher, Christensen ran into the hall and grabbed the automated external defibrillator off the wall as Woodward began cutting the shirt off of Hansen.


Musterer immediately started performing chest compressions until Christensen arrived with the AED.


Musterer performed two cycles of CPR until first responders from 22nd Civil Engineering Squadron fire department arrived. As everyone waited for the county first responders to show, Hansen’s heart had stopped four times before he stabilized.


All together Musterer and the fire department performed CPR for a total of 17 minutes until the Sedgwick County emergency medical services team arrived to takeover.


He was taken to a nearby hospital where he spent a week before returning home.


“I’ve seen three different cardiologists since then,” Hansen said. “None of them have a clue of what could’ve caused this. I never had any previous damage to my heart up until that point.”


Thanks to the quick thinking from the Airmen, who knew exactly what to do due to their CPR and Self-Aid Buddy Care training, Hansen was able to return back to work within the month with no serious injuries.


“I encourage everyone to stay up to date with their training and take it seriously,” said Christensen. “This was definitely not a one-man show, it took a team.”


Hansen is more than grateful to the Airmen who helped save his life that morning.


"I haven't had a chance to return the favor, but I will," added Hansen. "Without them I wouldn't be here today."