In the middle of a terminal E checkpoint lane at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), a passenger yelled, “There’s a situation that requires medical attention.”
When Supervisory TSA Officer Michael Miller and TSA Officer Richard Veneziano arrived on the scene, they discovered an unconscious airline employee lying on the floor suffering from a later determined potential heart attack.
“It became obvious very quickly the situation was serious,” said Miller.
The two BOS Officers knew exactly what to do to help. Miller and Veneziano rushed to aid the injured man, who lost his balance and fell to the floor.
“My first thoughts were, ‘This isn’t good; we have to act quickly,’” said Veneziano. “I called 911 and explained the situation to the operator. It was evident we needed to start CPR. I ran to retrieve the automated external defibrillator (AED) while Mike started CPR.”
Veneziano added, “It was an every second counted type situation. At first, the individual took quick breaths, as if he were hyperventilating, and eventually turned into a slower and weaker breathing.”
Several years ago, Veneziano participated in the CPR and AED training class offered to TSA employees by the MASSPORT Fire Department. He credits the training experience as one of the reasons he was prepared for situations like this.
“I used the CPR and AED training to help revive the airline employee. The training makes using the AED instinctual,” said Veneziano.
Miller received CPR training while serving in the U.S. Navy, and although a long time passed since he administered CPR, Miller was reassured by Veneziano and appreciative of his ability to calmly communicate the situation to the medical professionals.
“I was just focused on what had to be done,” Veneziano added.
Knowing his surroundings and where the AED is located on the checkpoint played a critical role in Veneziano’s success in assisting. Miller was able to start the process needed to aid the airline employee and secure the checkpoint for continued screening until a Customs and Border Protection Patrol Officer stepped in to help before paramedics arrived.
“I work every day to protect the traveling public, and keeping them safe is our mission,” noted Veneziano.
By TeaNeisha Barker, TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs