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‘America’s friendliest airport’ is also quick to save lives

PHOENIX — Phoenix firefighters and Phoenix Sky Harbor operations officials are now equipped to save the lives of Valley travelers.

“We have trained over 2,000 airport employees on automated external defibrillator or AED,” said Steve Grubbs, deputy director of operations at Sky Harbor Airport.

“Now we have saved 43 lives using AEDs.”

Robert Sempowski, the latest person who’s life was saved, was returning home with his wife from a vacation in Mexico.

He fainted and his wife administered CPR until Phoenix Fire Station 19 bike teams arrived on site, along with Phoenix firefighters and members of Sky Harbor’s aviation operations.

“I fainted and that’s the last thing I remember,” Sempowski said. “Now I feel wonderful, I’ve got a new defibrillator.”

There are more than 85 AEDs available at Phoenix Sky Harbor, Phoenix Deer Valley and Phoenix Goodyear airports. There are also AEDs available on the Sky Train.

“I’d like to thank all the people that saved my life,” Sempowski added.