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Airman awarded as VPP Hero

Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex Commander Brig. Gen. Mark Johnson presents Airman 1st Class Jaren Kirkendoll with the VPP Safety Hero Award on Jan. 25 in the APEX Conference Room in Bldg. 3001. Airman Kirkendoll, a force management technician with the 72nd Force Support Squadron, was honored for giving life-saving assistance to a man who collapsed during a Senior Holiday Gala at which he had volunteered. (Air Force photo by Kelly White/Released)

Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex Commander Brig. Gen. Mark Johnson presents Airman 1st Class Jaren Kirkendoll with the VPP Safety Hero Award on Jan. 25 in the APEX Conference Room in Bldg. 3001. Airman Kirkendoll, a force management technician with the 72nd Force Support Squadron, was honored for giving life-saving assistance to a man who collapsed during a Senior Holiday Gala at which he had volunteered. (Air Force photo by Kelly White/Released)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- He may not wear a cape, but Airman 1st Class Jaren Kirkendoll is definitely a hero.

The Airman, a force management technician with the 72nd Force Support Squadron, was honored this week with a VPP Safety Hero award for saving a man's life.

During a Christmas gala, Airman Kirkendoll was on the dance floor when he noticed a couple dancing nearby, and something didn't seem quite right.

"The man's partner was trying to hold him up and he slumped to the floor," said Airman Kirkendoll.  "I checked his pulse and he had stopped breathing."

A woman who was familiar with CPR teamed up Airman Kirkendoll to do chest compressions.

"When I tilted his head back, he gasped for air," the Airman said.

When the man stopped breathing a second time, the two kept working on him and brought him back again.

"We stabilized him until the emergency medical team could get there," Airman Kirkendoll said. "My Air Force training kicked in and I just wanted to help."