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Massachusetts firefighter and traveling nurse who are sisters help save woman on Boston flight



Photo courtesy of Wayland Fire Department

A Massachusetts firefighter and paramedic and her sister, a nurse, helped save a woman who became unresponsive on a flight from Boston to Fort Meyers last week.

According to Wayland Chief Neil McPherson, on Monday, Aug. 1, Firefighter Lindsay Byrne and her sister Nurse Nicole Kelly — who works at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington and as a traveling nurse –were on a Jet Blue flight traveling from Boston Logan International Airport to Southwest Florida International Airport when a woman was found unresponsive in an aircraft lavatory.

Flight attendants requested help from anyone with a medical background over the plane’s intercom, and Firefighter Byrne, Nurse Kelly and another firefighter from Florida sprung into action.

The three assessed the woman and found that she was unconscious, had grayish-blue skin, a faint pulse and was having difficulty breathing. Following the assessment, the group determined that the woman was having a diabetic emergency.

They sat the woman up to clear her airway and administered her sugar packets orally, which helped her regain consciousness. They stayed with the woman until the plane landed in Fort Meyers, where she was transported by ambulance to an area hospital.

“Incidents like these are what first responders and medical professionals train for. Seeing this training and professionalism kick into action beyond our small community and in an environment with limited resources is a proud moment for the department that made a difference in someone’s life,” Chief McPherson said. “I commend Lindsay and Nicole for working together and utilizing both of their unique skill sets to take this swift, lifesaving action while flying aboard an aircraft.”

Firefighter Byrne has been a member of the Wayland Fire Department since 2018.

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