Tucson, Ariz. - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Casa Grande and Tucson stations rescued two people in separate incidents yesterday. The Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine (OAM) played a vital role in both incidents.
As Tucson station agents approached four illegal aliens, one of the persons collapsed and lost consciousness. Others in the group told agents the man is a diabetic and had not had his medication for two days. Agents requested assistance from the Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team, but because of the area's remoteness and rough terrain, they could not land a helicopter. Agents carried the subject to a suitable landing area where he could then be transported to a local hospital.
BORSTAR agents later responded to an OAM request for assistance after they found an individual lost in the west desert area and suffering from mild dehydration. The subject said he was abandoned by his smuggler.
Smugglers continue to show disregard for life by leading individuals through harsh areas, often abandoning them in the desert. Tucson Sector has more than 200 agents trained as Emergency Medical Technicians and 20 rescue beacons throughout the Sector to help individuals in distress. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air & Marine not only supports our operational mission, but are prepared to assist with humanitarian efforts. From Oct. 1, 2009 to July 31, 2010, Tucson Sector agents rescued 546 people.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.