Todd Doherty, Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George, was recognized today for his life-saving actions during a flight home.
Past Chancellor Robert White and Priory Secretary and Registrar Order of the St. John Priory of Canada, Patricia Kearney, presented Doherty with the St. John Ambulance Life-saving Award in his Ottawa Office.
St. John Ambulance recognizes individuals who have saved or attempted to save a life by using their first aid skills and knowledge.
Doherty received this award for his heroic actions on a late night flight from Vancouver to Prince George.
He heard a loud bang and turned to the passenger beside him who asked if he knew first aid. He quickly saw that a man had collapsed and had fallen into the front row of the aircraft where another passenger was sitting.
Doherty made his way to the man who was unresponsive and had no detectable heartbeat. With the help from a fellow passenger; he got him into a prone position and began to give the man chest compressions.
This lasted for about a minute before the man came to.
He continued to administered care and attention while the flight attendant conveyed updates to the pilot, who turned the plane around and headed back to Vancouver. It was only just before landing that Doherty realized he knew the man and his family which made this experience all the more emotional. Emergency services arrived and the man was transported to hospital where he made a full recovery.
“I’m honoured to receive this award; however it was the greatest reward for me, to speak to the gentleman’s wife a couple days later and to hear he was able to come home to his young family,” Doherty said.
“It drives home the importance of knowing even basic first aid, you never know when or where you may have to apply your training and you just may save a life.”