Photo: Ta’Niya Lomax with her mother Tracy at award ceremony.
Prospect Airport Services employee Ta’Niya Lomax was recently honored for her life-saving actions at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, MI. Ta’Niya was presented with the SOARING Award by the Airport Authority Board after helping to save the life of a passenger.
A young man coming off a flight began choking after eating a piece of candy. Ta’Niya was standing by to assist a wheelchair passenger when she sprang into action. At the SOARING Award presention, Ta’Niya described the incident:
“It was a cold fall evening in Grand Rapids at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and I was patiently waiting on the jet bridge for my wheelchair passengers to exit the aircraft. While standing behind my trusty Staxi wheelchair, a young man about the age of 17-18 came off of the flight eating a candy bar. Suddenly the boy stopped dead in his tracks and he started clutching at his throat! He began to glare at his mother pleading with his eyes for help and she asked him if he was choking. Unable to respond, he just continued to look at her as he clenched his throat. I could tell the young man was in trouble because I had just learned about choking and the Heimlich maneuver in school that week. l exclaimed loudly that the young man was choking and sprang into action! I swiftly moved around the wheelchairs that I had stationed on the side of the jet bridge and immediately started performing the abdominal thrusts. After 3-4 thrusts, the chocolate came right out! The boy, while gasping for air, thanked me profusely while trying to catch his breath. The mother, while still in shock, also thanked me graciously. I welcomed their thanks and told them to have a nice day, after which I went back to work to do my job.”
In attendance at the award presentation, Prospect COO Jim Wajda was impressed. “Taniya is still in high school and is a wheelchair pusher at Prospect. After receiving her award she talked about 4 minutes about her what happened in the Jet Bridge. What a great speaker! After she left the room, people were speechless! She has a bright future and we are very proud of her!” said Wajda.
Prospect President and CEO Vicki Strobel said, “When we first heard of the situation we were shocked that Ta’Niya had not mentioned one word to anyone about her courageous deed. I then remembered a statement I once read that explained that a true hero doesn’t boast or brag because they aren’t in it for the recognition; they just want to do the right thing. The initiative that Ta’Niya took in this situation was truly amazing and we couldn’t be more proud of her! “
The Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority Board honors exceptional employees with the SOARING Award. The award name is an acronym for the values of the airport: Safety, Our customers, Accountability, Respect, Integrity, New Ideas, and Growth.
This customer service recognition program is exclusively for Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority employees and its facility partners. Recipients are nominated for outstanding service and actions while going above and beyond in providing memorable experiences for airport customers and travelers.
Prospect joins with Gerald R. Ford International Airport in thanking and honoring Ta’Niya Lomax, an outstanding representative of our values!