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CAUGHT ON CAM: TSA employee jumps over checkpoint to save baby in distress

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 11:46 AM CST
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NEWARK, N.J. (Gray News) – A newly hired Transportation Security Administration officer is being hailed as a hero after jumping into action when she saw a baby in distress.

According to the TSA, a young mother picked up her 2-month-old son to carry him through security at a Newark Liberty International Airport and saw the boy wasn’t breathing.

She immediately looked for help and started shouting when she realized her attempts at rousing her son were unsuccessful.

TSA officer Cecilia Morales, a trained emergency medical technician with 10 years of experience, heard the cries for help and jumped over the checkpoint conveyor belt to help.

Morales performed the infant Heimlich maneuver and held the infant carefully to keep his airway open.

After getting no response initially, Morales tried again, and the baby started to breathe.

“The mother was too nervous and in shock to hold her son, so I carried the infant through the walk-through metal detector,” Morales said.

Pediatric EMTs arrived shortly after to give the baby some oxygen.

While Morales has performed the Heimlich on adults and children as an EMT, this was the first time she has used the life-saving technique on an infant.

“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.”

According to TSA officials, Morales has only been on the job for two months.

“She’s literally a life-saver,” said Thomas Carter, TSA’s federal security director for New Jersey. “Officer Morales’ quick reaction and actions helped ensure that this family will have a happy holiday season. Her actions were inspiring.”

TSA officer Cecilia Morales, a trained emergency medical technician with 10 years of...
TSA officer Cecilia Morales, a trained emergency medical technician with 10 years of experience, heard the cries for help and jumped over the checkpoint conveyor belt to help.(TSA)

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