Like any other day in Boston, Officer Edward Cutter and Lead Officer John Fogel were on a routine lunch break, walking to get a bite to eat, when they encountered a frantic traveler yelling for “help.” Both officers took immediate action, running to the gate where they discovered a man laying nonresponsive.
Bystanders witnessed the man having a seizure who was now without a pulse. Newly hired Officer Cutter, recently retired as a Critical Care Flight paramedic, has pre-hospital emergency experience and began to assess the nonresponsive passenger. Fogel also jumped into action, contacting Boston’s Massport Police and Emergency Management Systems (EMS).
“We observed a male patient lying on the ground in obvious distress,” said Cutter. “There was a crowd of people around the patient and also Dr. Millie Sands. I identified myself to Dr. Sands, advising her that I had just retired. We both began to assess the patient's condition.”
Quick assessment confirmed the patient had stopped breathing. The patient was in full cardiac arrest. Cutter immediately started CPR while Fogel got the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).
Fogel brought the AED, Cutter placed the electrode pads on the patient when he and Sands noticed the patient had a slight pulse. The patient began to regain consciousness. Cutter asked the man if he remembered anything leading up to that. The man said, he was waiting at the gate to board his flight and did not remember anything after that.
EMS arrived at the scene and took over patient care. Paramedics took the man to Massachusetts General Hospital for further care.
“Not all people have the outcome that this gentleman had, and I was thankful that I was nearby to give this man the best chance at survival,” said Cutter. Had it not been for the quick response of all individuals involved, the man’s outcome may have been different.
With such a wonderful ending, only one question remains for Cutter and Fogel. Were they able to finish their lunch breaks? We may never know the answer to that question, but without a doubt, Officers Cutter and Fogel represented TSA in an impressive and professional life saving way!