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"As a physician and a human being, it's our responsibility to jump in when there's a medical emergency," Dr. Mehmet Oz said in a statement

By Gabrielle Chung
March 03, 2021 at 09:32 AM EST
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Dr. Mehmet Oz is being hailed a hero after helping to save the life of a man who had collapsed at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

The incident occurred around 11:07 p.m. on Monday just as the TV personality, 60, was arriving at Terminal A following a flight, PEOPLE can confirm.

A man, identified only as a 60-year-old New Jersey resident by authorities, had stopped breathing and collapsed near the baggage claim area without a pulse, according to the Port Authority.

Port Authority Officer Jeffrey Croissant, who was on patrol when he witnessed the man falling to the floor, quickly rushed over and called for help.

Dr. Oz
Dr. Oz
| Credit: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Oz, who had just come off the same flight as the man and was waiting for his luggage by the carousel, sprang into action and began helping Croissant, performing CPR until back officers arrived with oxygen and a defibrillator.

According to officials, the man started breathing again after several cycles of CPR.

The man was transported to intensive care at a local hospital, where he is currently undergoing further evaluation.

Croissant said in a statement that he initially did not recognize Oz since "everyone wears masks." After realizing that Oz was the one who stepped up to help, he remarked, "What better help to have than a cardiac surgeon?"

Port Authority Officer Jeffrey Croissant
Officer Jeffrey Croissant
| Credit: Courtesy Port Authority

"Last night, a man collapsed near me and my family after we arrived at Newark Airport. I performed CPR with the help of a Newark Port Authority police officer and cleared the man's airway," Oz said in a statement provided to PEOPLE. "Thankfully, Newark Airport had a defibrillator nearby that we were able to use to save his life."

"As a physician and a human being, it's our responsibility to jump in when there's a medical emergency," he continued. "Another critical reminder of how important it is to take the time to learn how to do CPR and use a defibrillator. You could save a life."

The Newark Liberty International Airport thanked Oz for jumping in to help rescue the man in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon, writing, "Thank you @DrOz for working with our PAPD team to provide life-saving #CPR to the passenger in cardiac arrest last night at #EWR. #cprsaveslives."

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This story originally appeared on people.com

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