NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A security officer leapt over conveyor belt rollers and saved a 2-month-old boy who stopped breathing at a security checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, newly released video shows.
The footage, released Thursday by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, shows TSA officer Cecilia Morales springing into action to resuscitate the child Dec. 9 after his mother picked him up from a car carrier and noticed he wasn’t breathing.
Morales, an EMT who has been a TSA officer for about two months, told the agency she performed the infant version of the Heimlich maneuver, placing the baby face down on her arm and patting him on the back to get him breathing again.
JUST IN: @TSA officer, a former EMT, hailed as a hero after she jumped over a checkpoint conveyor belt to perform Heimlich on an infant who stopped breathing at @EWRairport checkpoint, saving the baby’s life. #TSAHolidayMiracle. The news release: https://t.co/J1yuT05ysw pic.twitter.com/3NfRD7lvPh— Lisa Farbstein, TSA Spokesperson (@TSA_Northeast) December 23, 2021
It was the first time she had performed the technique on an infant, she said. A pediatric EMT arrived a short time later to give the baby oxygen. A TSA spokesperson said the agency didn’t know what caused the baby to stop breathing.
“I saw the video afterward,” Morales said. “It was the first time I’ve ever seen myself in action, saving a life. It was mind-blowing to watch. I felt that my training and experience just took over.”
“Two months on the job and she’s literally a life-saver,” Thomas Carter, the TSA’s Federal Security Director for New Jersey said in a statement. “Officer Morales’s quick reaction and actions helped ensure that this family will have a happy holiday season. Her actions were inspiring.”