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Andersen Airmen recognized for life-saving actions

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Whitney Tucker
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Airman 1st Class Cody Frediani, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal apprentice, was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal Feb. 16 here for his precise execution of life saving skills under the most unexpected of circumstances.

It was just after 4:30 p.m. and Airman Frediani was headed home for the day. All that remained on his to-do list was a pit stop at the gas station and he was free for the night. As he ambled into the store and took his place at the back of the check-out line, Airman Frediani's eyes were drawn to the parking lot where cluster of people had gathered, all wearing anxious expressions and huddling around a gas pump.

"I heard someone say a man had fallen down and was unconscious," he said. "I ran outside and found the man on the ground lying on top of a gas nozzle."

According to his award write-up, Airman Frediani singlehandedly and without hesitation began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the lifeless heart attack victim while maintaining control of the situation and ensuring no further harm was done.

"My first thought was to get the gas pump out from under him and check his vital signs," Airman Frediani said. "I found him unresponsive and knew I had to perform compressions."

Having recently taken the CPR course, Airman Frediani was no stranger its procedures. However, no amount of training could have prepared him for what happened next.

"There is no way to describe what it's like to feel someone's ribs cracking beneath your hands," the EOD apprentice said. "When you go through CPR training the instructors warn you it will happen, but to experience it is something else entirely."

With the sun beating down on his back, Airman Frediani performed CPR for an exhaustive 15 minutes before emergency response personnel arrived on the scene and took over.

"I was getting very minor responses," he said. "I could tell he was trying to breathe; short gasps of air kept escaping from his throat, but he wasn't able to breathe on his own. When they loaded him into the ambulance, the last thing I heard was that he had a pulse again."

Though Airman Frediani was never reunited with the stranger whose life he saved, the two men will share a connection forever.

"When I was 19 my dad had a heart attack," Airman Frediani said. "All I wanted was the chance to speak to him again. I am very proud to receive the Air Force Achievement Medal, but my greatest reward is knowing I gave a father and son more time."