CBP Officers Honored for Lifesaving Actions at DFW Airport

June 4, 2024 – Four U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers were recently honored at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport for their heroic and lifesaving actions in aiding a heart attack victim. The officers’ quick response and medical intervention were crucial in saving the life of a traveler returning from a vacation in Sydney, Australia.

CBP officers Rene Saddler, Karyn Kruzel, Daniel Zmolik, and Bryan Brown were alerted to a man who had collapsed inside the Federal Inspection Station. Upon arrival, they found the man unresponsive, not breathing, and without a pulse. Acting swiftly, the officers retrieved an automated external defibrillator (AED) and administered a shock in an attempt to revive him. When the patient remained unresponsive, the officers began performing CPR. After a short time of chest compressions, the man regained a pulse and began breathing again. DFW EMS soon arrived and transported him to a local hospital for further medical attention.

Jayson P. Ahern, Port Director of the Area Port of Dallas, commended the officers’ actions: “Our agency has invested tremendously in our workforce to ensure a percentage of our officers are Nationally Certified Emergency Medical Technicians. Our officers relied on their training which ultimately resulted in saving this man’s life.”

The officers were honored at a local DFW Airport award ceremony, where the patient’s wife personally thanked them for their swift actions. She expressed her gratitude, sharing that her husband had made a full recovery and returned to work.

CBP officers, stationed at air, sea, and land ports of entry, frequently encounter travelers with medical emergencies. Immediate care during the initial minutes of such incidents is often critical for survival. Since 2019, CBP has been training officers as certified EMTs. Currently, CBP’s Office of Field Operations includes 560 certified EMTs, four Advanced EMTs, and 19 Paramedics, highlighting the agency’s commitment to preparedness and public safety.–By Lawrence “Rusty” Payne