Dec. 21, 2017 – Miami International Airport (MIA) Hotel front desk clerk Jose Consuegra has been named Miami International Airport’s 2017 Employee of the Year for his heroic efforts to resuscitate an infant traveler who had stopped breathing. Consuegra was recognized by Miami-Dade County and MIA officials at the airport’s annual Rewards and Recognition Year-End Gala on December 14.
The Employee of the Year award wasn’t the only surprise for Consuegra, though. The Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau made arrangements to fly the child, Mia, and her mother, Alessandra Rossi, from Haiti to the awards ceremony, where they were reunited with Consuegra for the first time since the incident.
“Congratulations to the MIA Employee of the Year, and to all of the airport’s monthly winners in 2017, for going above and beyond to provide excellent customer service,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Their actions this year are great examples of what we want MIA and Miami-Dade County to be known for.”
On May 27 at 8:10 a.m., barely an hour after the start of his shift at the front desk of the MIA Hotel, Consuegra received a panicked call from hotel guest Alessandra Rossi, claiming that her baby was dying. Consuegra immediately called Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and assured Rossi that paramedics would soon arrive.
Seconds after, Rossi rushed down to the hotel lobby with the visibly ill baby, Mia, in her arms. Amid a startled crowd and Rossi’s cries of fear for her daughter’s life, Consuegra – who has been trained in pediatric CPR – performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on Mia.
Thanks to Consuegra’s quick and courageous actions, Mia began to breathe again before paramedics arrived. Rossi and Mia were transported to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and remained in Miami until August for medical treatment.
“I am very grateful to Mr. Consuegra, and I will be grateful for the rest of my life,” wrote Rossi in a July email to MIA. “He is my daughter’s angel and a model for all your hotel’s employees.”
“Jose’s actions, and those of the other nominees for Employee of the Year, demonstrate precisely the kind of compassion and quick thinking we want all MIA employees to have,” said MDAD Chief of Staff Joseph Napoli. “We appreciate their inspiring examples of customer service.”
Consuegra, who was chosen from among 12 employees of the month in 2017, won a pair of American Airlines tickets good for travel anywhere in the continental U.S., Mexico or the Caribbean.