December 2022 Employees of the Month: Police and TSA officers tag team to resuscitate heart attack victim
On the evening of November 9, a traveler and his wife had just been screened at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint 2 at Miami International Airport and were gathering their carry-on items when the passenger had to sit down because he was sweating profusely and started having convulsions. His wife screamed for help, saying that her husband was having a heart attack.
TSA Officer (TSO) Roberto Gonzalez immediately ran to where the couple was, assessed the passenger, and began performing CPR, while Gonzalez’s supervisor called for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue assistance and arranged with other TSA officers to section off the affected area.
TSO Gonzalez continued to perform CPR on the unresponsive passenger until Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) Officer Brandon Hoo arrived with a defibrillator and tried to resuscitate the passenger. CPR and the defibrillator didn’t seem to be working, but TSO Gonzalez and Officer Hoo kept trying. Four other MDPD officers – Alexander Mangels, Walter Enamorado, Marcos Varon, and Christian Vergara – responded to the scene one by one and took turns performing CPR on the passenger, who at one point seemed responsive but then became unresponsive again. He finally began to breathe and had a pulse, and Fire Rescue arrived soon after to transport the traveler to the hospital.
The team of TSA and MDPD officers was relieved to hear the next day that the passenger survived! TSO Gonzalez was able to speak to him the next morning and learn that he had to undergo a medical procedure once he reached the hospital and that without the rapid medical assistance he received from the team of officers, he may not have survived.
In recognition of their life-saving actions and teamwork, TSO Gonzalez and MDPD officers Hoo, Enamorado, Mangels, Varon, and Vergara were each named MIA’s December 2022 Employees of the Month.