SUMAS, Wash. — U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers assigned to the port of Sumas, WA, responded with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to save a 56-year-old Canadian man’s life yesterday.
The Kamloops, BC, man and his wife arrived at the port from Canada around 3:30 p.m. (PST) in their motorhome destined for a four month winter tour of the United States. During routine secondary screening, the man collapsed to the floor with labored breathing and was gasping for breath. Supervisory CBP Officer Nicholas Sowell and CBP Officers Randy Mulanax and Douglas Stuit immediately began rendering aid. CBP Officer Heather Hentz notified 911 requesting emergency medical technicians (EMTs). CBP officers and a responding Sumas Police Department officer continued CPR until arrival by EMTs at 3:45 p.m.
Supervisory CBP Officer Sowell retrieved the port’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and upon arrival, EMTs utilized the AED three times before transporting the victim by ambulance to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham.
“The quick and professional response by CBP personnel in Sumas saved this man’s life,” said CBP’s Sumas Port Director J. Rene Ortega. “The heroic actions of all involved exemplify the collaboration between CBP, local law enforcement and first responders to protect and serve our communities and our visitors.”
The heart attack victim remains hospitalized in Bellingham.
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.