Border Patrol Agents Doubling as EMTs

Border Patrol Agents Doubling as EMTs

By Stephen Owsinski

With the ever-burgeoning illegal immigrants disregarding our southern border, U.S. Border Patrol agents have ample dangerous activities on their plates, thanks to the present White House administration’s anemic stance on buttoning up the borders. The throngs of immigrants trekking across unkind terrain to enter America illegally, falling ill along the way, are exacerbating it all.

Did you know the Border Patrol has over 1,400 Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) among its cadre of law enforcement officers?

Given the seemingly infinite influx of illegal border crossers daily, Border Patrol agents encounter many requiring urgent medical attention due to intense heat and unnavigable geography largely ignored because of desperate mindsets. Sure doesn’t help when certain politicos wave on immigrants eyeing U.S. soil without an iota of legal leeway to do so!

(Photo courtesy of the US Border Patrol.)

According to the U.S. Border Patrol, the already overworked federal agency’s personnel employs/deploys what is known in the public safety community as dual-certified professionals: uniformed service providers trained and authorized in both law enforcement and emergency medical care.

If you are thinking, That likely requires two different training academies…you are right. Meaning doubling up on a forward-stepping first responder’s time clearly illustrating their dedication to various duties on behalf of anyone they encounter.

Per the most recent account (December 2022) of Border Patrol academy stipulations, each “agent trainee” must successfully endure 940 hours of paid training spanning 117 days while residing in barracks at a federal law enforcement training academy.

The Border Patrol training academy equips trainees with instruction in United States statutes (with an emphasis on Immigration policies), physical conditioning and preparedness, firearms safety/skills, emergency vehicle operations, agency operational standards, tactical actions, and Spanish.

According to the US Customs and Border Patrol administration, “trainees who successfully pass all aspects of the training academy are eligible for up to 18 college credit hours toward an accredited degree” and tout themselves as providers of “one of the most challenging curriculums in federal law enforcement.”

Even though police academies are required by state Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission tenets to teach blocks of Basic First Aid, it is nowhere near what trainees learn at a dedicated EMT academy, which delves deep into clinical attributions somewhat shy of obtaining a registered nurse (RN) licensure.

From what I reviewed, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s EMT service provisions commenced during the pandemic (hence, the face masks worn by agents in the photo above). The way put it, The course is part of a new agency initiative designed to train and certify CBP personnel as emergency medical technicians to help the traveling public .”

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol executives categorize their dual certified professionals as “Miracle Workers,” adding that the medical applications part requires “an eight-week emergency medical technician course, designed to train and certify CBP personnel in the field.”

As mentioned, the Border Patrol “course was part of a new initiative, which requires the agency to train 100 individuals as emergency medical technicians from its field operations’ workforce each year.”

Mr. Geoff Smith, overseeing the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations and its newly minted Operational Medicine Branch, said, “CBP sees an average of a million travelers a day, and a lot of those travelers experience medical emergencies. We have to be able to assist them.”

Essentially, the Border Patrol now has federal law enforcement agents trained as combat medics deployed in the fields, similar to the material published by the National Police Association about SWAT Medics perilously working in tactical operations throughout the states.

(Photo courtesy of the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police.)

In our cover photo atop this article (full-size below), we see a fully uniformed, armed Border Patrol agent administering exigent medical attention to some border-bound immigrants downed by hazardous terrain baked in by harsh weather conditions. Naturally, the White House is aware of this potential tragedy. But, hey…come one, come all (like bouncers at the door at a nefarious nightclub, checking nothing and exceeding maximum capacity without a care in the world, until havoc happens and first responders are urgently summoned.)

According to a Border Patrol spokesperson explaining the photograph above, “A certified EMT Border Patrol Agent was airlifted into a remote area to administer IV fluids to 2 female migrants that their smuggler left behind. Thankfully, agents were there in time to provide life-saving medical care. We have 1,432 certified EMT Agents nationwide.”

So, the men and women exhaustingly endeavoring to button up our country’s borders by enforcing immigration laws and encountering perilous cartels eyeing the border as a portal to peddle their dope and smuggle humans…also perform on-the-spot doctorly duties.

Notice the Patrol’s spokesperson identifying the agency EMTs being “airlifted” to sites where immigrants requiring emergency care are located. That implies, once they are treated at the arid, rocky, cactus-populated surface level, air transport is necessary. That defaults to US territory for follow-through medical attention provided by a certified medical doctor at a hospital.

In that press release, heed the total number of Border Patrol EMTs spread across America, not only at the southern fringe.

What anyone may find irksome is that, if we had solid border barriers disallowing any penetration, we would not necessarily need all the taxpayer-funded assets deployed there. Nor would we be footing the bill for illegal immigrants’ medical care at United States hospitals.

Besides airlifted immigrant patients, the Border Patrol has dual-certified LEOs/EMTs operating mobile units through tough terrain. Here’s footage of Border Patrol agents encountering a batch of intended border crossers who succumbed to the atrocious elements:

As the Border Patrol chief posted in a press release heralding the agency’s EMTs, along with field footage depicting them in action,  “MINUTES MATTER; Border Patrol Agents save lives & our EMTs never skip a beat.”

As the U.S. Customs and Border Protection narrator mentioned, “Our most successful recruits are the ones that commit, dig deep, and prepare,” including emergency medical care applications.