KINGSVILLE, Texas – A Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine (OAM) crew together with a U.S. Border Patrol emergency medical technician (EMT) saved the life of an 11-year-old girl, Sunday.
The girl, who is from El Salvador, became lost early that morning after she was separated from a group of illegal immigrants attempting to circumvent the Sarita Checkpoint on U.S. Highway 77 North.
An OAM helicopter operating out of the McAllen Air and Marine Branch deployed with a Border Patrol EMT onboard to help agents on the ground search for the missing girl. When the helicopter crew spotted the girl, the pilot landed the aircraft nearby. The EMT and a supplemental aircrew member rushed to the girl, who was found soaking wet and shivering. This two-person first aid team quickly assessed the child’s condition and then transported her to the waiting helicopter.
She was flown to nearby Border Patrol vehicles, where the EMT continued to administer first aid. The EMT determined the girl did not need to be hospitalized and she was transported to the Kingsville Border Patrol Station.
“The practice of deploying Border Patrol EMTs with air crews from the Office of Air and Marine is relatively new, but we are already starting to see results,” said Chief Patrol Agent Rosendo Hinojosa. “It significantly increases our ability to save lives by giving us the capability to rapidly deploy EMTs into rescue situations where just minutes may mean the difference between life and death.”
The Rio Grande Valley Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity, call the sector’s toll-free telephone number at 800-863-9382.
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.