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September 24, 2017Philadelphia, PA, United StatesOperational

ICE officer saves man's life after plane crash

PHILADELPHIA – An off-duty U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officer quick actions saved a man's life Sunday after a small plane crash in a residential area.  

On Sunday, Sept. 24, Assistant Field Office Director (AFOD) Brian McShane was one of the first people to arrive on the scene of a plane crash. Upon hearing a loud crash near his home, McShane rushed to the scene with ICE issued first aid equipment.  The scene was scattered with the wreckage of the small plane. Amidst the debris, he saw that the pilot of the plane was trapped in the cockpit, suspended in a tree.  McShane climbed into the suspended cockpit to try to assist the pilot. 

When he got to him, McShane noticed the pilot had labored breathing.  McShane began trying to talk to the pilot to re-assure him that help was on the way.  The pilot then stopped breathing. McShane checked for a pulse on the pilot’s wrist and could not establish one.  McShane then reached into the wreckage and tried to get a pulse from the pilots neck, when he realized the pilot was being strangled by the seat restraint.  McShane called to neighbors and friends for something to cut the belt, and they handed McShane a set of surgical scissors from the first aid kit brought to the scene.   Several neighbors and friends helped push up on the pilots legs to relieve the pressure on his throat and McShane was able to cut the safety restraint.  The pilot immediately gasped and started to take labored breaths on his own again.  At that time, first responders arrived and assisted McShane and several of the neighbors move the pilot to safety.

The pilot was evacuated by emergency medical services and appears to have survived the horrific crash thanks in large part to the quick response from McShane.    

“I’m just happy that I was able to help,” said McShane. “Someone’s father, son, brother, uncle will make it home after surviving such a horrible accident.”