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  4. Swanton Sector Border Patrol Rescues Unresponsive Individual in North Troy

Swanton Sector Border Patrol Rescues Unresponsive Individual in North Troy

Release Date
North Troy, Vermont

NORTH TROY, Vt. – On December 3, a Supervisory Border Patrol Agent on patrol witnessed an individual collapse on the side of Main Street in North Troy, Vermont.  The agent requested Emergency Medical Services and continued to assess the individual, who was by then verbally unresponsive and in obvious physical distress.  With the assistance of additional Border Patrol Agents arriving on scene, the subject was wrapped in blankets and moved into a heated Border Patrol vehicle until EMS arrived.  The weather at the time of the encounter was near-freezing and rainy.

EMS transported the individual, a citizen of Haiti, to North Country Hospital in Newport, Vermont, where he was admitted for hypothermia and other medical issues exacerbated by prolonged exposure to rain and cold temperatures.  At the time of admission, the individual’s body temperature was dangerously low.  Due to his condition, the individual was later transferred to University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont, for further treatment.

“The dangers posed by trying to cross the border illegally, especially during winter months are very real and can be fatal,” said Patrol Agent in Charge, Michael Shick. “This was a perfect example of the work that agents encounter and are prepared to deal with on a daily basis. Although this incident resulted in a rescue, the reality is that this situation could have ended in a recovery and as we get deeper into the winter months the likelihood of these types of encounters ending poorly rises exponentially.”

Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition of temperature loss from the body at a rate faster than it is produced.  Low body temperature impacts brain function, which can cause disorientation and difficulty moving.  Hypothermia is especially dangerous because a person may not know that it is happening and may further be incapacitated to do anything about it.  Although associated with “freezing” temperatures, hypothermia can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40 degrees Fahrenheit) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in water.

In a separate incident occurring on December 2, Swanton Sector Border Patrol Agents, assisted by a local resident, rescued a group that included a family with small children in Churubusco, New York. The subjects had become disoriented due to weather-related trauma as they illegally crossed into the United States from Canada.

The Swanton Sector is responsible for securing the land border between ports of entry in Vermont, New Hampshire, and northeastern New York.  Citizens reporting suspicious activity is invaluable to the Border Patrol's mission and we welcome community members' information to help keep our nation’s borders safe.  To report suspicious activity in Swanton Sector, please call 1-800-689-3362.

For more information on U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s mission at our nation’s ports of entry with CBP officers and along U.S. borders with Border Patrol agents, please visit the Border Security section of the CBP website.

  • Last Modified: December 8, 2022