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Cleveland CBP Employees Save the Life of Overdose Victim

Release Date: 
July 30, 2020

CLEVELAND—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cleveland provided critical medical care to an overdose victim found unconscious in her vehicle this morning.

Around 8:45 a.m., a CBP employee was walking through a parking area near the Cleveland Port Office in Middleburg Heights, Ohio when he noticed an adult female slumped over the steering wheel of a running vehicle. The woman did not respond to the employee when he spoke to her, and he immediately informed CBP Chief Supervisory Officers Michael Faupel and Jeffrey Buck, and CBP Supervisory Program Manager Jonathan Restivo.

After calling 911, the supervisory officers assessed the victim’s vital signs and noted she had a low heart rate and shallow breathing. They also discovered drug paraphernalia in the center console of the vehicle. While one of the officers leaned the victim back to ensure her airway was open, the other officer performed a sternum rub to see if she would respond.

Chief Supervisory Faupel attributes his on-the-job experience for knowing how to respond. “I credit the training from CBP throughout my career in preparing me to deal with situations that are tense and rapidly evolving.”

When the officers realized the victim’s pulse had dropped to dangerously low levels they immediately administered one dose of Narcan.

“Once we determined this was an overdose situation, we immediately retrieved Narcan from our office,” said Chief Supervisory Officer Buck. “The CBP Basic Medical Course and our Narcan training enabled us to save her life.”

Within three minutes, the victim’s heart rate and breathing returned to normal levels and she regained consciousness. A few minutes later, emergency medical workers arrived on the scene and transported the victim to Southwest General Hospital.

“This scenario played out very quickly—within a matter of a few minutes,” said Cleveland Area Port Director Diann Rodriguez. “I want to commend all four of our employees for their quick thinking and immediate life-saving actions that prevented the untimely death of the victim.”

Robert White, Director of Field Operations, Chicago Field Office, agrees. “The men and women of the Chicago Field Office continue to display unprecedented levels of dedication and professionalism. This recent heroic event that took place at the Area Port of Cleveland exemplifies CBP’s core values of vigilance, service, and integrity.”

CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.

Last modified: 
July 30, 2020