Chicago - The International Terminal at Chicago O’Hare Airport is a microcosm of constantly moving people and technology. There is a certain rhythm to the ebb and flow of air passengers arriving from foreign countries and departing to their final destinations. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at O’Hare know the movement of international travelers and when one passenger breaks that rhythm they are prepared and trained to know exactly what to do. On September 23, CBP officers saved the life of an arriving international passenger who collapsed at O’Hare Airport.
The passenger, a 68-year-old male Polish-national, had arrived onboard LOT Polish Airlines flight 001 from Warsaw, Poland at approximately 3:40 p.m. He was processed by CBP; however, collapsed into an unconscious and unresponsive condition within the federal inspections area. Immediately, City of Chicago paramedics were notified while CBP officers retrieved a nearby Automated External Defibrillation unit. CBP officers, trained in the use of the AED and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation began to administer lifesaving procedures and the passenger began to breathe on his own. CBP officers continued to monitor the passenger until the paramedics arrived and transported the subject to the hospital with good vital signs.
“CBP officers working in international airport operations come in contact with thousands of passengers every day and are specially trained and certified to provide aid to travelers who are in serious trouble,” said Steven Artino, CBP Chicago Acting Director of Field Operations. “Without hesitation, our officers reacted and saved this man’s life. CBP officers at O’Hare respond with AED units and save lives every year. Since March, this is the second time at O’Hare Airport that CBP officers have responded and saved the life of an international passenger.”
The name of the program which positions AED units in the airport one minute apart is the Heart Saver Program. This program was the first of its kind in the country to be implemented by the City of Chicago Department of Aviation at O’Hare Airport more than 20 years ago. Classes are offered by the City of Chicago every month at both O’Hare and Midway Airports. As a result, more than one third of all Port of Chicago CBP officers are trained and certified in AED, CPR, and First Aid.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.