Double jeopardy? Midland, Texas TSA officer aids two fallen passengers

Wednesday, March 27, 2024
Midland International Air & Space Port, Midland County, Texas (Photo by Paul Eric Barragan)

Supervisory TSA Officer Paul Barragan and TSA Officer Pam Carbajal were working the a.m. shift at Midland International Air and Space Port (MAF) when Carbajal saw an elderly female passenger fall while waiting in the queue.

Carbajal called for a supervisor to rush to the travel document checker (TDC) podium at the entrance to the security checkpoint and quickly provided aid to the fallen passenger. By the time Barragan arrived, Carbajal had helped the passenger to her feet and inquired if she needed medical attention.

The lady said she was more embarrassed than anything, a bit shaken up and declined medical assistance. She did, however, take the officers’ up on their offer to call for wheelchair assistance for her through to her gate. Carbajal assisted the passenger while Barragan went to the supervisor podium in the back of the checkpoint to call for wheelchair service.

Midland International Air & Space Port (MAF) TSA Officer Pam Carbajal  (Photo by Paul Eric Barragan)
Midland International Air & Space Port (MAF) TSA Officer Pam Carbajal  (Photo by Paul Eric Barragan)

“I was impressed with Pam’s quick thinking and response to assist these passengers,” said Barragan. “Her situational awareness, use of her network and updates and notifications to me were outstanding.”

While helping the elderly lady divest, Carbajal witnessed an elderly male fall at the top of the escalator just outside the checkpoint. She called Barragan, who immediately informed two Midland Police Department (MPD) officers a male traveler had fallen on the escalator and would more than likely need medical attention.

Carbajal noticed the man needed immediate help and asked the female passenger if she could please wait while she assisted the man at the escalator. She helped him up and provided a chair for him at the TDC area.

Carbajal applied pressure to the passenger’s wound on his bleeding forehead. A minute later two MPD officers arrived to provide first aid to the passenger. Carbajal then went back to assist the female passenger who had fallen minutes earlier.

MAF TSA Officer Pam Carbajal assisting passengers. (Photo by Paul Eric Barragan)
MAF TSA Officer Pam Carbajal assisting passengers. (Photo by Paul Eric Barragan)

Both travelers were able to make their flights with no further delays and expressed their gratitude and appreciation for Carbajal’s help. “It was a crazy hectic day, and I was just glad I was able to help those in need,” said Carbajal.

“Pam has not even been here a year, and her professional demeanor is evident to all of us, said TSA Manager Denise Schumacher. You can tell she’s ‘got it.’ Pam is definitely a positive asset to MAF.”

“It was a great team effort. I am proud of the officers’ situational awareness and willingness to assist travelers in need,” said Deputy Assistant Federal Security Director Ignacio Luna. The passengers will never forget TSA officers helped them that day.”

By Ignacio “Nacho” Reyes, Stakeholder Relations Manager, Austin, Texas and Wayne Carey, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs