The real “Good Samaritan” who stood up on AA Flight 2703 on Jan. 10 and assisted not one but two passengers aboard in need of medical attention was native Crucian, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Natasha Ramon.
In a letter to the VI Source, passenger Alfred Faller writes, “Compliments to Natasha Ramon, St. Croix resident. On Jan. 10, I was on a flight from Miami to Port of Spain, Trinidad. All was going well with boarding, and we pushed off the gate about on time. Just as we approached the runway, a passenger in the coach section was found to be unresponsive.”
Faller’s letter continues, “Our flight attendant Debbie Daugherty jumped into action, informed the pilots, and got the plane stopped. She called for medical assistance from someone onboard while keeping the flight crew and ground informed of the situation.”
St. Croix resident Ramon was sitting in first class on the flight.
According to Faller’s letter, “An Advanced Emergency Medical Technician in First Class, Natasha Ramon rose to the occasion, volunteering and aiding the passenger.”
“The passenger revived, and Natasha stayed with the passenger until rescue personnel at the gate took over. After some delay, including refueling, we finally got in the air,” writes Faller.
The letter continues, “just after we reached altitude, another passenger had a medical condition. Natasha volunteered again and spent most of the flight attending to the passenger.”
The letter concludes with, “Natasha’s professionalism and selflessness were refreshing to see. St. Croix should be proud to have such a wonderful person in their midst.”
Faller requested Ramon’s contact information and forwarded it to the Source for the following interview.
Ramon has been an EMT for four years and an AEMT for seven months and was trained by instructor/paramedic Jacqueline Greenidge-Payne.
“AEMTs provide the same services as an EMT. The difference is we can insert IV lines, administer fluids, administer some medications, and use advanced medical equipment. We are the foundation,” Ramon said.
When asked if this was her first “good samaritan” experience, Ramon replied, “This was not my first good samaritan experience and definitely won’t be my last as long as I have life.”
“I wasn’t nervous at all,” she said. “My only concern was working with limited resources and medical equipment provided by the AA flight attendants.”
“We receive training year-round that entail mock scenarios. We educate ourselves during downtime, and we debrief after challenging emergencies. My instructor Jacqueline Greenidge-Payne reminds us that people don’t do what you tell them to do. They do what they are trained to do. Time is a brain cell. Time is a life in which we may only get one chance to get it right. Therefore, all of our mistakes are made in the classroom,” Ramon said.
“Thankfully, both medical emergencies were not simultaneous. If they were, I am trained to triage and assist. Although both passengers were ok in the end, I still ask myself, ‘was there anything I could have done better?’”
Ramon was asked how she felt knowing that she was successful with her assistance to both passengers and if there is a motto EMT’s live by. “I felt a sigh of relief knowing that I was successful,” she said. “During training, we are timed to perform a rapid head-to-toe assessment on our patients. There are quite a few mottoes out there, but my EMT class of 2018’s motto is ‘Service for all, on-call for life.’”
Ramon shared her daily prayer, “God…Grant me the ability to give emergency care with skillful hands, a knowledgeable mind, and tender loving care. Help me deal with everything when lives are on the line. Amen.”
AEMTs are trained to care for and treat emergency trauma and underlining medical emergencies such as difficulty breathing, heart attack, stroke, seizures, diabetic emergencies, just to name a few, Ramon said. “There are limitations based on my level of training that I am allowed to perform. There are standing orders, which are written protocols and procedures that must be followed unless given online,” she said.
According to Ramon, a medical report was written and turned over to American Airlines medical personnel.
Asked how she felt about Alfred Faller bringing the situation to the attention of the Source. She replied, “EMT workers often go unnoticed. Gratitude from our patients or bystanders like Alfred Faller is always heart-filling and appreciated. Special thanks to him.”
The Source asked, how does your family see you … as a hero? Do you feel it was a special event or in the line of duty? Her answer: “Definitely their hero. An EMT is always on call; medical emergencies happen any and everywhere. We never stop providing care, so I view it as being in the line of duty.”
Ramon advises the general public that “even if you are not in the medical field, it is important to obtain CPR training. CPR training should be implemented in our school curriculum. We often take situations for granted until it happens right in front of you or when it hits home. Time wasted to provide care is a life that could be saved. Let’s not wait for that to happen. We see you. We thank you. We honor you. We salute you with Alfred Faller and all the others who witnessed your outstanding service to humanity.”
Congratulations! You are our hero!
Good Samaritan AEMT Natasha Ramon, please stand up!