Atlanta TSA supervisors conduct wellness check, help save a life

Thursday, July 15, 2021
Photo of TSA officers

For Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) Supervisory TSA Officers Nancy Rene, Brendan Parker and Clyde Brown, care for their people took a serious turn when a reliable officer didn’t show up for his shift.

The last anyone heard, the officer called in sick, saying he wasn’t feeling well. Initially, this wasn’t a cause for concern; the ATL Coordination Center fields callouts every day. But three days later — on the second occurrence of no call/no show — the supervisors conferred and realized the ordinarily dependable team member hadn’t been heard from since the one and only call.

“People you work with are like your second family,” said Parker. “I just needed to make sure he was OK.”

Parker’s concern about the missing team member was unanimous.

“I was alarmed and concerned because the officer normally comes to work,” Brown said, echoing the same gut feeling. “I figured something was wrong.”

“I felt very strongly that something was not right and I just couldn’t ignore it,” added Rene.

After several unsuccessful attempts to reach the officer by phone, the supervisors decided to conduct a wellness check and researched his emergency contact information, which unfortunately wasn’t up-to-date. Undaunted, they checked the officer’s safe haven information, a form on file that also has emergency contact information, as well as a secondary duty location where an officer should report in case of an evacuation of his home airport. They located a valid phone number on that form for his sister and called her to express their concerns.

Not having heard from her brother recently, the sister, who is his only surviving relative, reached out to Georgia’s Henry County Sheriff’s Department. A patrol car was sent to the officer’s residence, and law enforcement performed a forced entry, finding the officer barely responsive and on the floor.

“I am so appreciative that they took the time to dig a little deeper,” said the officer’s sister.

“She informed us that [her brother] thought he had been on the floor for a couple of days,” recalled Parker. “In fact, by this time, four or five days had actually passed.”

The sister told Parker, “Due to previous health concerns, a medical professional said he would most likely not have made it another day or so without medical attention.”   

Thanks to the intuitiveness and compassion of Supervisors Rene, Parker and Brown, their team member is recuperating at home.

“Supervisory TSA Officers Rene, Parker and Brown all exemplify what it means to be a true leader,” said ATL Federal Security Director Robert Spinden. “I am proud to have them all as part of the TSA ATL team.”