Jets trainers assist ailing woman on plane

February, 24, 2014
Feb 24
4:05
PM ET
Two athletic trainers from the New York Jets, on their way to the NFL scouting combine last week in Indianapolis, helped rescue an elderly woman in severe distress on an airplane at Newark Airport.

It happened on a Newark-to-Indianapolis flight last Monday. The door had just closed on the plane when a passenger alerted other passengers that an elderly woman sitting next to her needed immediate medical help.

As it turned out, there was a doctor on the plane. He identified himself as an ICU/cardiologist. Jets trainers Josh Koch and Dave Zuffelato also were on board. The three of them worked together to remove the woman from the plane to the jetway.

Once on the jetway, Kock and Zuffelato, along with the doctor, administered CPR for approximately five minutes until paramedics arrived. A short time later, the trainers got back on the plane and made their way to Indianapolis, where they would spend the next several days examining college prospects for the NFL draft. The item was first reported by David Chao, a former NFL doctor who writes a medical column for National Football Post.

“We’re conditioned to help people," Zuffelato said. "When the situation arose, the doctor, Josh and I did our best to help."

This marked the second time this offseason the Jets have made news on an airplane. A month ago, quarterback Geno Smith was involved in an altercation with a flight attendant that resulted in him leaving the plane before takeoff. The airline issue a public apology to Smith, but it came after a lot of unflattering publicity.

This time, the Jets' staffers played the role of heroes.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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