More than a year ago, Charlotte-based Flight Attendant Deborah Drinnon experienced a medical emergency while working a flight. Upon arrival at the Charlotte airport, the medical personnel attended to her and transported her to the hospital. It was from that personal experience that Deborah met Medic and Instructor Jerry Morris. Jerry is a faculty member of Carolinas HealthCare System who trains paramedics through a program at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. Some of his former students (trained paramedics) have responded to medical emergencies on PSA aircraft.
Jerry reached out to Director of Inflight Services Debra Hoke to ask if he could partner with PSA in a joint training program. Specifically, his objective was to expose his students to the tight quarters of the aircraft cabin and simulate the handling of a medical emergency in the small aircraft cabin to use as a training tool. Similarly, the PSA flight attendants (as well as pilots and station personnel) gained benefits from observing and participating in this training and were able offer insight from the crew and station perspective.
Through the cooperative efforts of Jerry and the Carolina Health / Central Piedmont Community College Team, PSA’s Inflight and Flight Department Personnel, Safety and Security department, MTC Staff, CLT Station Operations and the TSA, the joint training program was a success! Not only did seven medics learn to better handle a medical emergency in a small aircraft cabin, PSA flight attendants learned how to best assist the medics when attending to an ill passenger on the airplane.