Five McKinney firefighters were recognized Friday by Medical City McKinney for their life-saving efforts earlier this year.

According to the McKinney Fire Department, the firefighters performed an advanced skill that is usually only seen in hospital emergency rooms.

On Feb. 25, the five men – Greg Mulkey, Kevin McGuyer, Matt Ball, Rex Miller and Eric Hall – of MFD Station 8 responded to a call about a person choking at a residence. When they arrived, they found that the patient couldn’t breathe and had no pulse. After exhausting initial efforts to get the patient breathing again, the crew performed a cricothyrotomy.

“That can be a very difficult situation, and they handled it, they criked the patient and got a tube in the airway and got the patient back, so those are one of those moments where it’s kind of scary … they did a great job, and we just wanted to recognize all of them for that,” said Chris Kellen, EMS coordinator at Medical Center McKinney.

The last-resort procedure involves an incision to the cricothyroid membrane in the neck to open a new airway.

Kellen told the crew it’s difficult to recognize first responders “because you guys do it every day,” he said.

“The MCM attending physicians and nursing staff were very impressed with the McKinney Fire Department’s quick action in providing exceptional care on a critical patient with serious injuries,” said Chris Kellen, EMS coordinator, Medical Center McKinney. “Our staff would like to recognize MFD’s exceptional employees for the quality of care they displayed with a very difficult situation.”

According to MFD, after the firefighters performed the cricothyrotomy, the patient began to breathe on his own and was taken to Medical City McKinney for further care.