WASHINGTON (AFP): Forrest Bird, an American aviator who helped save countless lives by inventing the first modern ventilator, has died at the age of 94. Bird passed away at his home in Sagle, Idaho on Sunday, the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) said in a statement. “Dr Bird was truly a pioneer in respiratory care and pulmonary medicine,” said Frank Salvatore, the association’s president. A lifelong pilot who met Henry Ford and Orville Wright as a young boy, Bird became interested in mechanical ventilation during his stint as a long-range ferry pilot with the US military during World War II.