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Police Officers named Employees of the Year for life-saving response to passenger

Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) Officers Omaira Burgos and Carlos Sanchez are Miami International Airport’s Employees of the Year for providing life-saving aid to an injured elderly passenger. 

In November 2019, Officers Burgos and Sanchez were conducting a routine patrol at the MIA departure area, when they were flagged down to assist an injured passenger. Ms. Carolyn Johnston needed immediate attention, as she was sitting in a wheelchair and bleeding profusely from her right arm, slowly losing consciousness and feeling cold to the touch. The two officers immediately sprang into action and showed extraordinary teamwork. Officer Burgos applied the department-issued Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) to Ms. Johnston’s wound, while Officer Sanchez redirected travelers away from the area to secure the scene. Within a few moments, Ms. Johnston regained consciousness. 

Ms. Johnston was transported by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where her injury received further medical attention. MDFR and hospital personnel both confirmed that the officers’ immediate aid and use of the CAT were instrumental to saving her life.  

“Their actions were performed in the true spirit of law enforcement, and promote the Department’s mission statement of Integrity, Respect, Service, and Fairness,” stated former MDPD Airport District Major Raymond Melcon, who nominated officers Burgos and Sanchez for Employees of the Month. 

We are incredibly thankful for the heroic actions of Officers Burgos and Sanchez, who helped one of our passengers survive a potentially life-threatening injury. MIA is fortunate to have highly skilled and compassionate officers like them protecting and serving our travelers. They are more than deserving of being named Employees of the Year.
Lester Sola, MIA Director and CEO

Officers Burgos and Sanchez were named Employees of the Month in early 2020 by a committee of 18 airport employees from Miami-Dade County and various airlines and service providers, which made them eligible for the Employee of the Year award. 

“Officers Burgos and Sanchez’ lifesaving measures were possible due to the advanced level of training our officers receive and equipment they are issued. I am extremely proud of their performance and congratulate them on their well-deserved nomination,” said current MDPD Airport District Major Jesus L. Ramirez.  

MIA’s Reward and Recognition Program highlights team members who go above and beyond their call of duty, demonstrating exceptional customer service to passengers and visitors. If you know of any employee who you believe deserves to be recognized, consider nominating them.