TUCSON, Ariz. – A man approached Border Patrol agents at the I-90 immigration checkpoint’s primary lane on the morning of Feb. 29 and said he was having chest pains or possibly a heart attack.
Agents directed him to a secondary inspection lane where a Border Patrol Emergency Medical Technician provided care until emergency services arrived. The Whetstone Fire Department responded and transported the man to a local hospital.
Border Patrol agents frequently encounter commuters experiencing a variety of medical emergencies due to the fact that many checkpoints are located on roadways in remote areas. A few weeks ago, Border Patrol agents in the same vicinity encountered a person who was disoriented and suffering from a medical emergency. In that incident, agents provided the person with emergency care until he could be airlifted to a local area hospital. Border Patrol agents often transition from law enforcement to providing medical assistance or other humanitarian assistance. All Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents are trained as first responders, but the agency also employs 250 EMTs and 15 paramedics.
Checkpoints remain a critical piece of infrastructure and an effective tool in halting the flow of contraband and illegal traffic into the United States.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.