Florida Officer Hailed a Hero After Performing Lifesaving CPR

Thursday, March 7, 2024
MCO TSA Officer Antonio Gomez performed lifesaving CPR on a passenger in cardiac distress. (Photo provided by Luciani Lobeiro)

TSA Officer Antonio Gomez doesn’t consider himself a hero, but his fellow Officers disagree after he performed lifesaving CPR on a passenger at an Orlando International Airport (MCO) checkpoint.

Gomez was only five minutes into his break when he decided to head back to the floor and finish his shift, letting another colleague start their break early. While returning to the checkpoint, a crowd of people caught his attention.

At the center of the commotion laid an unconscious man, shaking, surrounded by the bystanders. The frenzied scene was filled with people yelling and panicking, unsure what to do. No one moved to help the man.

Gomez quickly assessed the situation and took over. His 12 years of serving in the U.S. Army with Scout and volunteer firefighter preparation came rushing back, pushing him into action.

MCO TSA Officer Antonio Gomez (Photo provided by Luciani Lobeiro)
MCO TSA Officer Antonio Gomez (Photo provided by Luciani Lobeiro)

“At the time, people around thought he was having a seizure,” Gomez recalled. “But I knew the signs. The man was having a heart attack, and we needed to start CPR.”

With skilled hands, Gomez cleared the man’s airways and tipped the passenger’s head back. Then, for more than a minute, Gomez administered CPR with help from a police officer on-site. Amazingly, the passenger regained consciousness.

“I began to ask the passenger questions, asking his name and if he knew where he was,” Gomez said. “I tried to keep him awake and talking. After about eight minutes, the paramedics arrived.”

As the medics took over, Gomez noticed the passenger’s wife nearby crying. He crouched near the woman and began talking and comforting her while the first responders worked on her husband.

“During our conversation, I found out information about her husband’s health and the medication he was taking and relayed that information to the paramedics,” Gomez said.

The passenger was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.

Gomez is credited with saving the man’s life, but he is quick to dismiss the praise. Gomez insists the lifesaving actions happened because he was in the right place at the right time with the right training.

“There were so many people standing around, but no one knew what to do,” Gomez said.

“We are extremely proud of the quick actions and compassion Officer Gomez demonstrated during this life-threatening event,” said MCO TSA Federal Security Director Pete Garcia. “Gomez is an inspiration to all, and we are proud to call him a colleague.”

By Kimberlyn Pepe, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs