On December 9th, a recently hired TSA officer at the Newark International Airport saved the life of a two-month-old boy. The baby was choking.
The mom had noticed that he wasn’t breathing when she lifted him out of the car seat. She became panicked and asked for help. At first, the TSA agent, Cecilia Morales, gave instructions to the mom. Once she realized it wasn’t helping, Morales jumped over the conveyor belt to administer CPR herself.
Before being hired at the airport in October, Morales had 10 years of experience as an emergency medical technician. Before the incident, she had never administered CPR to an infant, only adults and children.
After jumping over the conveyor belt, she placed the baby over her arm face-down and began to pat his back. After the first Heimlich maneuver didn’t work, she did it again. Finally, the baby began to breathe again.
Thanks to the holiday rush, there were surveillance cameras in place that captured the whole thing. Morales watched the video of herself after the incident occurred. She said it was the first time she had ever seen herself save a life. When asked about it Morales said, “I felt that my training and experience just took over.”
Moments like these are especially hard to control around the holidays when TSA checkpoints are packed. One TSA manager praised Morales for her quick thinking. “If Officer Morales did not utilize her critical thinking, knowledge and quick response, perhaps we could have had a terrible outcome. In the moment Officer Morales was selfless, and her priority was to save a life. We are proud to call her one of our own,” the manager stated.
The TSA Has Been Busy This Year
Holidays are always busy at airports. However, as travel started to get back underway, the whole year became one for the books. TSA agents especially get to see all of the bizarre things that people pack or forget they have. People pack absurd things every day, but one statistic stood out this year in particular: guns.
Almost 6,000 guns were confiscated by TSA agents this year, compared to 4,400 last year. The exact number collected is closer to 5,700, or 16 guns per day. Given how strict airport security is, it’s surprising that so many have been confiscated. It’s no casual matter, either – having a gun can lead to a fine or even getting arrested. Some passengers that had their firearms taken faced fines of up to $13,910. For repeat offenders, the fine can go higher. (Hopefully, for most people, that’s a one-time thing.) This only applies to loaded guns that haven’t been checked. It’s perfectly legal to fly with an unloaded gun, as long as it boards the plane in checked luggage rather than a carry-on.