Pleasant Hills firefighter a hero for helping
Several men grin and address Dan Federico as “Hero,” a title he modestly denies, as he walks around the Pleasant Hills Volunteer Fire Company.
“‘Hero' — I guess it's their way of saying ‘Good job,'” Federico said.
On Jan. 6, Federico, 32, a rescue lieutenant the fire company, rendered aid to a heart attack victim at Pittsburgh International Airport and helped to save the man's life. Federico was working at his job as a Transportation Security Administration agent when the incident happened. The man, Don Walsh, 51, of Shaler, then donated $500 to the Pleasant Hills Volunteer Fire Company for training and equipment as a thank-you to Federico.
“If you're going to have a heart attack, you should have one in front of Dan at the airport,” Walsh said. “I feel like I'm the luckiest guy alive.”
Federico said that his actions were just part of his training.
“It was just luck,” Federico said.
Federico started working as a firefighter and emergency medical technician for the Medical Rescue Team South Authority 12 years ago. He joined the Pleasant Hills Volunteer Fire Company five or six years ago and works part-time and as a volunteer.
“It's something I always was interested in,” Federico said.
Federico was working at the main security checkpoint on Jan. 6 at the airport when he noticed Walsh, a would-be flyer, looking ill, sitting on a bench, he said.
“(Most people,) they just want to get in and get out ... It was busy that day,” Federico said. “He didn't look well.”
The two men spoke for a few minutes, with Federico encouraging him to get checked out by an emergency medical technician, before Walsh passed out, Federico said. Soon after that, Walsh went into cardiac arrest, and Federico and other first responders worked to save Walsh's life.
“I think it's just second nature at this point,” Federico said. “We all just started working together.”
Within a few minutes, Walsh awoke and was taken to Allegheny General Hospital.
“He's alive and well ... He's very lucky,” said Federico, adding that this is only the second time he's encountered full cardiac arrest and had the victim walk away. “The survival rate on this is very small.”
Walsh's doctors said that the first responders' actions made the difference, Walsh said.
In addition to the donations Walsh made to the Pleasant Hills VFC and some of the other first responders' workplaces, he plans to host a party in March for family, friends and those first responders.
“Without those guys I don't believe I'm here,” Walsh said. “Everyone has different means, but everyone can say ‘thank you.'”
Walsh said he donated money to the Pleasant Hills VFC to encourage more training.
Pleasant Hills First Assistant Chief Randy Porter said he's proud of Federico and the other first responders.
“It's exciting and rewarding that the training Dan has been through paid off,” Porter said. “Thank God he was there. Otherwise, who knows what would have happened.”
Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Work to begin on Horning Road
- Baldwin civil service commission member ousted
- West Jefferson Hills school board members stripped of leadership posts
- Baldwin performing arts center dedication to honor longtime music director
- Paynter students take the ice-bucket challenge