The last thing any TSA officer wants to hear during a shift is “Call 911!”
That’s exactly what happened on July 14 in the Boston/Logan International Airport (BOS) when a passenger, traveling with his two young daughters, fell to the ground in the grips of a seizure.
The TSA team in BOS sprang into action. TSA officer Ryan Conley and his trainee James Robinson were manning the travel document checker podium near the passenger when he fell. They immediately notified supervisory officer Brian Eddows.
Eddows, along with Transportation Security Manager James Burke, rushed to the man’s side to assist.
“We noticed that he was having problems breathing and he was starting to turn blue,” said Eddows. They turned the man onto his side, allowing him to cough up saliva and start breathing again. A passenger identified himself as a doctor and began to render aid.
Lead officer Ifeoma Onuorah was returning from break when she heard the commotion. Seeing that the passenger had plenty of assistance, she turned her attention to his two daughters who were afraid and confused. She calmed them, even using her phone to video-call their mother in California.
Emergency medical services soon arrived, summoned by supervisory officer Brian Grady. The passenger was now awake and responsive, thanks in part to the efforts of Eddows and Burke.
As the paramedics ensured the man’s safety, it was decided that his two young daughters would continue on the flight to return to their mother while their father received medical care.
Onuorah escorted the girls through the checkpoint, calming them by introducing them to the TSA team as they screened through.
“I told them how brave they were and how much their dad loved them,” said Onuorah. “If it wasn’t for the fast actions of Manager Burke and Supervisor Eddows who knows what might have happened to that passenger. I am only as strong as my team and I’m very glad I have the team that I do!”
“All I cared about was that this man was in trouble and he needed help,” said Eddows.