Quick-thinking airmen from Mildenhall perform CPR on elderly man found unconscious in the street

Staff Sgt Blake Broekhove, left, and Staff Sgt Scott Caldwell, 352nd Special Operations Maintenance

Staff Sgt Blake Broekhove, left, and Staff Sgt Scott Caldwell, 352nd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron - Credit: Archant

Two off-duty Mildenhall airmen feared the worst when they found an elderly man lying on the pavement cold, still and with no pulse.

But US Air Force Staff Sergeants Scott Caldwell and Blake Broekhove immediately got to work, delivering the 15 minutes of CPR that saved his life.

The co-workers from the 352nd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron were driving through Mildenhall on their way to a mountain bike park in Hertfordshire.

Staff Sgt Caldwell said: “At first, I saw two dogs hovering over him so I thought he had been attacked, but I really didn’t know what happened. I just knew something was wrong.

“We just did what I would hope anyone else would do. There was no thinking – everything just happened and we reacted.”

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Staff Sgt Broekhove said: “I checked his pulse and he had none. Not only that, but he was cold. I immediately thought the worst, I thought he was gone.”

Their military training kicked in and they began performing CPR, Staff Sgt Broekhove giving the unconscious man chest compressions while Staff Sgt Caldwell gave rescue breaths.

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“I was singing ‘Staying Alive’ in my head,” Staff Sgt Broekhove said.

“And I will tell you from experience, it does work.”

They continued CPR for more than 15 minutes until paramedics arrived.

“Once the ambulance arrived, we tried to help them in any way we could,” said Staff Sgt Caldwell.

“I was holding IV bags, fetching things out of the ambulance or just passing them equipment.”

The man had fallen off a bicycle when he suffered a cardiac arrest, hitting his head on a concrete wall before falling to the pavement.

With the worry of the man’s health still on their minds, the two airmen contacted his family, who revealed he had recovered well and survived the ordeal.

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