The scorching temperatures in south Texas have kept U.S. Border Patrol agents on high alert, after recent incidents where they provided medical assistance to immigrants who were left behind by smugglers.
On Monday morning near Granjeno, one border patrol emergency medical technician encountered a seventh month pregnant woman, who was in need of help. The EMS Program Manager for Customs and Border Protection, Hector Elizondo, says the EMT responded right away, and helped the woman in his unit.
“When our agent encountered her, she started having signs of contractions. He helped her give birth in the back of one of our patrol units,” said Elizondo. “The heat definitely could have been a factor for the emergency, as well as the terrain and the amount of walking she did” he added.
Prior to this incident, CBP officials say another agent helped a seven month old baby near Progreso, who was unresponsive due to the heat. This incident happened on Sunday.
“He provided the child with water,” said Elizondo. “He also administered oxygen, via mask. He also followed other steps that allowed the baby to start reacting back,” he added.
Elizondo adds, most of the time immigrants fall into these life threatening situations when smugglers don’t want to deal with them, and leave them behind.
“If the person can’t keep up, these smugglers don’t care,” said Elizondo. “They just want to get paid. So they’ll leave them behind, and of course ultimately resulting in deaths and these types of emergencies,” he added.
Elizondo also mentioned the mother who gave birth in the Border Patrol unit is having a good recovery, and her infant is doing well at the intensive care unit.