Wisconsin TSA officers keep passenger who had seizure safe until responders arrive

Friday, October 9, 2020
LTSOs Running and Seavers photo

Supervisory Officer Paul Ceman was having a relatively normal day at Central Wisconsin Airport. That is, until Lead Officer Cassandra Running rushed to notify him that a passenger collapsed outside of the checkpoint.

Running and Ceman wasted no time in responding. Running positioned the passenger on his side in a recovery position. She then questioned nearby travelers to find out what happened.

Running learned that the passenger had a sudden seizure and fell to the ground. He likely hit his head on the table connected to the chair he was sitting in.

While Running assisted the passenger, Ceman called 911 and then called Transportation Security Manager Stephanie Pellmann. Knowing that Lead Officer Johana Seavers was a certified Emergency Medical Technician, Pellmann called for her right away.

Seavers responded in less than a minute, assisting the passenger and assessing his condition. She directed Running to help care for the passenger until emergency personnel arrived. Seavers updated responders while Running searched the passenger’s bag, looking for what could have been life-saving medication or other clues to his condition.

“When I saw the passenger shaking and sliding out of his chair to the ground, I knew I needed to help,” Running said. “I am grateful Seavers was able to come quickly and I could assist her until EMS arrived."

Emergency personnel rushed the passenger to the hospital. He recovered and was cleared to fly later that day.

"I am extremely honored to work alongside officers Seavers and Running,” Pellman said. “These leaders went above and beyond to assist this passenger until EMTs arrived, ensuring no further harm and maintaining calm in a stressful situation. Their actions are a testament to their character, commitment to the traveling public, and are second to none."

During a crisis, people sometimes perform poorly when faced with a stressful situation.

But in this case, the officers worked together and rose to the occasion. They performed with the highest level of professionalism under pressure, and displayed a duty of care above and beyond their normal responsibilities. 

TSA Central Wisconsin officers didn’t hesitate to help a passenger in distress, and their quick thinking and teamwork may have helped save his life.