Maine TSA officer aids fallen passenger

Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Portland International Airport photo

It was just another weekend shift at Maine’s Portland International Jetport (PWM) for TSA Officer Nichole Greenwood, but that quickly changed.

While working the X-ray, Greenwood heard a fellow TSA officer call out to a supervisor, “Quick, call 911.”

Officer Greenwood photo
Portland International Jetport TSA Officer Nicole Greenwood (Photo by Briana Corrales)

When Greenwood looked to see where the need was, she noticed a crowd gathering on the public side of the checkpoint surrounding a man who collapsed.

“I saw a passenger on the floor,” recalled Greenwood. “I knew he needed help, and with my medical background, I knew I could assist until police and medics arrived.”

Greenwood sprang into action, positioning herself above the passenger in anticipation of him coming out of the seizure. She wanted to make sure she could easily move around to support the victim in case he became violent as he regained consciousness.

PWM Police Officer Stacey Brooker soon arrived on the scene and later said, “The way Nichole responded and conducted herself while I was on scene was phenomenal. She exhibited just the right demeanor while displaying the most helpful body positioning and using the most helpful tone. In fact, I realized upon my arrival, [she] had complete control in assisting the victim, allowing me to assist the victim’s distraught female traveling companion.”

Further assessing Greenwood’s action, Brooker noted, “In my experience, the tone that is set upon first contact has a large impact on the remainder of the interaction. It is much more seamless to take over an already calm interaction and continue with that tone than to work to reset one. I believe Nichole’s actions played a strong role in setting a wanted tone and preventing any potential escalation.” 

Reflecting on the event, Greenwood said, “I did what I have been trained to do. I did what I hope others will do for me if I needed help.”

PWM Assistant Federal Security Director – Screening Briana Corrales added, “We are so proud of Nichole’s quick thinking and actions in helping someone in such a vulnerable moment. Nichole is always willing to help others, which makes her a valuable member to the PWM team.”