Auburn University athletic trainers assist in life-saving emergency at Arkansas airport

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Auburn University athletic trainer Lora Fuhrmann and student athletic trainer Noah Tanner jumped to action in a life-saving situation on Tuesday.

Tanner and Fuhrmann were traveling with Auburn’s softball team to the SEC tournament in Fayetteville, Arkansas, landing at Northwest Arkansas National Airport, or XNA. Shortly thereafter, Tanner and Fuhrmann noticed a person in need of life-saving assistance at the airport. The two administered CPR until an ambulance arrived and were later praised for their quick life-saving action.

“XNA’s emergency response staff responded to a medical emergency at Regional Jet Center,” an airport statement noted. “Trainers from the Auburn University softball team intervened prior to our team’s arrival. The trainers’ quick response likely contributed to saving a life, and we are grateful for their actions.”

Tanner, a rising senior in exercise science and physiology and a student athletic trainer for Auburn football and softball, says his training and experience at Auburn prepared him for such difficult situations.

“You hope to never have to use your emergency skills such as CPR or using an AED [automated external defibrillator], but Auburn does a great job of continuously practicing emergency action plans and how to react to an emergency,” he said. “That practice contributed to Lora and I being ready to step into action, even under unusual circumstances.”

Difficult situations like the one encountered on Tuesday demonstrate the importance of traveling with an athletic trainer, Fuhrman said.

“Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals to provide emergency care, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of acute and chronic injuries and other medical conditions,” she said. “Contrary to the public’s perception, we do more than hand out water and tape ankles. I believe having an athletic trainer is vital, and traveling with one is essential.

“Tuesday afternoon we were not in our element, a stadium filled with thousands of softball fans and all the emergency equipment we could dream of having; we were on a tarmac. We were truly in the right place at the right time. We are very lucky, and we are so incredibly happy the individual is alive and well.”

Tanner said his presence and quick response at the airport is a testament to the training and overall student experience he has received at Auburn.

“I am proud to represent Auburn University as a student athletic trainer, both on and off campus, and I’m grateful my school has given me opportunities to pursue my passions at this level,” he said. “Situations like these are not acts of bravery, they are something we are just trained to do.”

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