Hollywood Burbank Airport Present Livesaving Awards to Flight Attendants

(Photo by Alejandro Vega)

On December 18, Hollywood Burbank Airport bestowed awards upon the flight attendants of Avelo Airlines. During a flight from Brownsville, Texas, to Burbank, a customer suffered a heart attack. Thanks to the instinctual responses of Chris Allison and Tali Rosas, the customer survived the ordeal. The ceremony was held during the Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena Airport Authority meeting.

(Photo by Alejandro Vega)

Hollywood Burbank Airport Police Chief and Director of Public Safety Edward B. Skvarna demonstrated a quick run-down and relief about the harrowing situation. “On July 29, at about 2:30 in the afternoon, an Avelo flight en route to Burbank from Brownsville, Texas was preparing to land. Upon descent, the flight attendants were waking passengers up and making sure that they had seatbelts on. They found a passenger that was not responsive. The breathing was very weak, and the color of the passenger was very bad.

The decision was made to request medical intervention at Burbank Airport,” Skvarna stressed. “The flight attendants removed the person from his seat and took him to the back of the aircraft. They used an AED (Automatic Electronic Defibrillator), hooked him up to it, and instructed them to shock him. They shocked him a total of 3 times, with the last shock happening during the landing. The pilot made a very precise landing, pulled right into the parking spot, making maximum use of available time.”

Luckily, things escalated from there in a very benevolent way. According to Skvarna, “Airport firefighters immediately boarded the aircraft and began taking over chest compressions and breathing for the patient with a medical device. Once they were able to get air stairs to the rear of the aircraft, the airport firefighters took the patient down the rear stairs and delivered him to the Burbank paramedics who were waiting outside the plane, who transported him to St. Joseph’s Medical Center. After two weeks at St. Joseph’s, the patient made a full recovery and was released from the hospital.”

The heroes of the moment, Chris Allison and Tali Rosas, were flight attendants for almost two years up to that point.

Rosas explained from her point of view, “They train us for these situations. That’s why, thankfully, we felt very comfortable handling the situation. Because in training, our main focus is emergency training, amongst other things. But that is the main focus. So from then on, Kevin Torres took over, and he was the one performing CPR as we were landing.

I was responsible for being in the front, making sure other customers were calm, and keeping communication with the flight deck. Letting them know what was going on.” Allison’s voice was wavering, but he held firm in the end. “It’s hard, but Avelo trained us well for the situation,” he said. “It’s kinda hard to talk about. I’m so honored and thankful to the Burbank Airport Police Department for this honor. I’m so thankful that this customer is now back home with his family in Texas.”

Not a bad way to end 2023 going into 2024, after all.