TSA Officer Dustin Hunsinger was working near the ticket counter at Alabama’s Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) when an elderly gentleman in line collapsed.
“I originally thought he just tripped and fell,” said Hunsinger.
When Hunsinger came over to see if he could help, an airline representative told him the passenger seemed disoriented. The airline employee got a wheelchair and called for medical assistance. Another passenger in line, an off-duty fireman with the Air Force, also came over to help.
“The passenger didn’t look good,” said Hunsinger.
When the man started to slide out of the wheelchair, Hunsinger and the fireman laid him on the floor where he starting gasping for air.
Hunsinger called for someone to get an Automated External Defibrillator. He and the fireman determined the passenger had no pulse and was having a heart attack.
Officer Guy Boutin, who was working at the checkpoint that morning, heard the request for emergency assistance over the intercom and then the duress alarm indicating a medical emergency. Boutin, a retired firefighter, jumped in to help Hunsinger and the fireman.
Working as a team, Hunsinger and Boutin performed CPR for a few minutes before the passenger started to respond and catch his breath.
The two officers asked the man if he knew where he was and what was happening. The passenger said he needed to go to Dallas.
When emergency responders arrived on the scene and took over, Hunsinger and Boutin helped the airport’s public safety manage the crowd that had formed.
Reflecting on his reaction to the situation, Boutin said, “When you are in public service, this is just what you do.”
“Officers Hunsinger and Boutin saved a life,” said Federal Security Director Gail Linkins. “I am very proud of both officers.”