Avis agent saves passenger's life at Jacksonville International Airport

by: Erica Bennett Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - When disaster struck, Joseph Micacchione said he had no choice but to act.

‘I didn't think at all. I just went and got it and put it on,” he explained.

“It” is an AED machine. Micacchione was working at the Avis/Budget counter at the Jacksonville International Airport when a passenger passed out. Witnesses started doing CPR, but it wasn't long before he lost his pulse and turned purple.

In essence, he died.

That's when Micacchione grabbed the device.

“It was like you see on TV. He kind of jumped up a little bit and it was instant. Right after, his eyes rolled back and he started moving around again,” he continued.

Turns out the passenger was going through V-Fib, ventricular fibrillation, which means your heart is quivering, but not pumping blood.

Micacchione said he doesn't consider himself a hero, even though his co-workers have nicknamed him one. He attributes it to having four years of life guard experience and being in the right place at the right time. The victim, who he got a chance to talk to once he was released from the hospital, is grateful.

“He hugged me. He thanked me. He couldn't stop thanking me. And then he said he was going to get a tattoo of my name on his chest so he'll always remember. "

JIA has 16 AED machines. They cost about $1,400 each.

Joseph Micacchione