Rensselaer County sheriff's deputy honored for rescue on a plane

Posted at: 12/11/2012 10:45 PM
Updated at: 12/12/2012 12:28 AM
By: Dan Bazile

TROY -- For deputy sheriff Adrian Morin, rescuing a Rotterdam man who collapsed 30,000 feet above earth on a plane was just all in a day's work. But the man who's now thankful Morin was on that plane, sees him as a hero.

"He deserves it many times over," Phillip Blackstone said. "That's why I could hardly wait to get the letter in the mail."

The letter was to show his appreciation to the Rensselaer County Sheriff's department for Morin's actions. The recognition went all the way to the county legislature where Morin was commended on Monday evening.

"I'm very honored that Rensselaer County has done this for me," Deputy Morin said.

It all took place on October 14 when Morin was headed home from Texas for his son's graduation from Air Force basic training. He was already dealing with the personal challenge of getting on a plane. Morin said he was nervous because that was his second time flying. That's when Blackstone, 68, collapsed during the flight.

"I peered to the back of the plane. You could see Mr. Blackstone Lying on the floor," Morin said. "I checked for a pulse. I could find a pulse. I started to try to wake him up."

"He was just comforting. He kept telling me it's ok. You're good now. You're ok. I was shook up obviously," Blackstone said.

The pilot was ready to divert the plane to a different airport. But Morin said there was no need after he assessed Blacktone's condition.

"We got him some oxygen. We landed in Albany. I got out of the way and let the paramedics take over," Morin said.

Deputy Morin knew what he was doing since he had been trained as an EMT. His sheriff's department is the only one in New York State that mandates such training. Rensselaer County Sheriff Jack Mahar started the EMT program three year ago. He said it has proven beneficial over and over again.

Blackstone was treated for dehydration at the hospital. He now considers Morin a friend.