By The Columbian
February 24, 2014 9:19 p.m.
Heritage High School — U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Donald Nachand, a quick thinker and military dog handler assigned to the 96th Security Forces Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., won the U.S. Air Force Achievement Medal at a Jan. 31 ceremony in Las Vegas. Nachand, a 2005 graduate of Heritage High School, flew to Las Vegas for training and was waiting in the baggage claim area at McCarran International Airport when a traveling businessman had a seizure and collapsed nearby. Nachand and two colleagues ran up and found the man had no pulse. They repositioned him to make breathing easier and began performing chest compressions. "Everyone just took their spots. We all did it together," Nachand said. The man's pulse returned, but his breathing was rough; when he finally revived he started screaming and fighting. Nachand and his colleagues, plus two airport police officers, helped steady the man and calm his struggles while emergency medical technicians arrived and administered medicine. Days later, they heard that the man was doing OK — but might not have made it if it wasn't for the quick actions of Nachand and his colleagues.