Houston Airports is recognizing local artist Edgar Medina for his quick actions in helping a passenger at William P. Hobby Airport. At the time of the incident, Medina was participating in the award-winning Houston Airports Artist in Residence Program. The Houston painter was working on a piece in the Central Connector, a hallway that connects Hobby’s security area with the food court. Even while painting, Medina would keep his eye on passengers who were moving through the connector.
“I made sure to be fully present and aware of my surroundings during my time at Hobby Airport,” said artist Edgar Medina. “It’s not every day that travelers get to see an artist creating art right before their eyes, so I always made time to chat with them and share my art story.”
His situational awareness allowed Medina to see that a passenger had fallen out of their wheelchair and onto the moving sidewalk that runs through the connector hallway. Hobby Airport employees confirmed Medina immediately jumped into action and pressed the emergency button on the moving sidewalk, which stopped the moving walkway.
“What caught my attention was the fact they were using a wheelchair, which is not supposed to be on the moving walkway. I had seen some training videos before starting my art residency, and that knowledge alerted me to the potential danger,” recalled Medina of the incident that led to a passenger falling from the wheelchair on the moving walkway. “Their family’s screams made me spring into action. I immediately located the emergency stop button and pressed it to prevent any further mishaps, and then I rushed to help the passenger.”
To recognize Medina and express our appreciation for his commitment as a badged airport tenant while fulfilling his artist residency at Hobby, Medina was given a Houston Airports Landside Operations Challenge Coin and a handwritten thank you note:
Edgar, on June 2, 2023, you noticed a passenger using a wheelchair on the moving sidewalk who was unable to exit the conveyance. Because of your situational awareness, you saw that there was a potential for injury not only to the passenger using the wheelchair, but to the passengers both in front and behind them. You reacted immediately and activated the emergency stop button on the moving walkway to assist the passenger and prevent potential injuries. Airport Operations, Landside, along with Houston Airports, offers its sincere thanks to you for your quick thinking and action, which not only prevented the potential injury to the traveling public, but protected the brand and image of Houston Airports.
Medina was flattered by the appreciation. “I believe anyone else would have done the same thing in the situation. It was a simple act of kindness, and my hope is that it inspires others to be aware and do good when someone is in need,” he said.