SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine Emergency Medical Service (AMEMS) member assisted four swimmers that were swept into rocks last Friday in a beach in the northern coast of the island.
On April 24, during a routine coastal patrol, a CBP UH-60 helicopter crew was alerted by the US Coast Guard of an incident with swimmers at a beach near the town of Barceloneta, Puerto Rico.From the air, the OAM crew noticed several injured persons on the rocky shore and only one ambulance on scene, subsequently landing to deploy an Aviation Enforcement Agent, who is also anEmergency Medical Technician, to assist the Puerto Rico Emergency Medical Service on the ground.
After additional resources arrived, the four swimmers were moved to a staging area and later transported to a regional hospital, to be treated for bone fractures, severe lacerations and a possible back injury.
“Our Air and Marine agents remain vigilant, not only to prevent smuggling events, but also to save lives within our coastal borders,” stated Johnny Morales, Director of Air Operations at the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch.
The AMEMS program has 51 Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) nationwide, 4 of whom are paramedics. This program fulfills the need to have medically trained personnel available to treat injured subjects in austere environments and during foreign deployments.
The Office of Air and Marine (OAM) is the world’s largest aviation and maritime law enforcement organization, and is a critical component of CBP’s layered enforcement strategy for border security. OAM is uniquely positioned to provide direct air and maritime support to multiple agencies and to ensure the success of border protection and law enforcement operations between ports of entry, within the maritime operating areas and within the nation’s interior.
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.