On a normal day, Staff Sgt. Jamie Hogsett and Airman 1st Class Jordan Deese help maintain Kunsan Air Base’s computer system — updating anti-virus packages and helping people who get locked out of their e-mail accounts or lose their passwords.

But on Tuesday, they and about a dozen other airmen helped save a fellow airman’s life. That morning, as they were standing in formation during a commander’s call that kicked off “Wingman Day,” Deese heard someone yell from about 10 feet away.

An airman was down. He had collapsed and appeared to be choking on his tongue.

Hogsett kneeled and turned the airman on his side so he wouldn’t choke. The man’s pulse was rapid. At one point it stopped for about 15 seconds.

Hogsett and Deese, aided by Master Sgt. Renard Barnes, performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until medical workers arrived two or three minutes later. They shocked the man’s heart with a defibrillator and continued to perform CPR as he was taken by ambulance to the Kunsan City hospital.

The man regained consciousness in the ambulance, but Tech. Sgt. Alicia Denis, a medic with the 8th Medical Group, said his survival was a collaborative effort among the airmen who first helped him and the medical and emergency responders who arrived shortly thereafter.

“The initial response is so critical,” she said. “It’s vital to his chances of survival.”

The airmen said they were in the right place at the right time.

“I didn’t think at that point,” Hogsett said. “It was just reaction.”

Said Deese: “You don’t have time to think of anything, truly. It’s all instinct, to react as fast as we did.”

The airman, who suffered a heart attack, was in good condition Thursday afternoon at the hospital. His name and rank are not being released.

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