As summer temperatures rise, Tucson Border Patrol agents are working diligently to save lives across southern Arizona.
In the last 30 days, Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue teams there have rescued 177 people who were unable to continue due to heat related illnesses; 52 of them within the past week.
Smugglers intent on increasing their profits will force ill-prepared illegal immigrants to remote regions of the desert, often resulting in loss of life. The desert has very few natural water sources or shaded areas and it is physically impossible for the average person to carry sufficient water to avoid life-threatening heat injuries.
In addition, smugglers convince migrants that they will only walk a short distance. In reality, they are forced to walk long distances within short periods of time. Those unable to keep up are left behind to die.
The Tucson Sector Border Patrol continues to provide rapid response with BORSTAR, with more than 250 agents cross-trained emergency medical technicians, and agents certified as first responders.
Technology also plays a significant role in assisting agents with rescues. The Tucson Sector Border Patrol has 22 rescue beacons located throughout its area of responsibility to assist those in distress. Instructions are in multiple languages and when activated, agents are able to respond quickly. BOSTAR teams utilize a “911 phone” that opens lines of communication with additional law enforcement partners and first responders.
Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling(877) 872-7435 toll free.