SEATTLE — Three Alaska Airlines flight attendants successfully used a portable defibrillator to revive a passenger whose heart had stopped beating, the airline said today. 

   "Thanks to their quick thinking, a woman is alive," said Andy Schneider, the carrier’s staff vice president of in-flight and station operations. "Their action is the very definition of teamwork and professionalism."

   The incident occurred Oct. 19 shortly after Alaska Flight 683 from San Francisco landed in Vancouver, BC. A 77-year-old woman collapsed in the jetway upon exiting the aircraft.

   Portland-based flight attendants Darlene Castillo, Steve Patronsky and Marlene Norris quickly determined that the passenger had no pulse and was not breathing. Within moments, they retrieved the automatic external defibrillator installed on board the aircraft and administered the lifesaving shock to revive the fallen passenger.

   "Everything went exactly like we had been trained for," said Norris.

   Just this month, Alaska completed installation of automatic defibrillators on 80 of its 88 aircraft.

   According to medical studies, defibrillation greatly improves the chances of survival for individuals who suffer sudden cardiac arrest caused by ventricular fibrillation.

   Alaska Airlines serves more than 40 cities in Alaska, Canada, Mexico and five Western states.