It might not make the “Web Gems” segment on SportsCenter, but a security guard at Katowice airport in Poland certainly made a catch that is worthy of some attention after he dove head-first to snag a toddler who was tumbling off a table.
This fingertip-grab saved the boy from seriously injuring himself on the hard floor of the airport.
“I noticed the child was sitting on the table and he looked a bit off balance, and then he began to fall forward,” said security guard Grzegorz Paczek.
“I was standing four to five meters away and I realized I had no chance of stopping him fall so I just threw myself along the ground with my arms outstretched. It was an instinctive reaction.”
A spokesman for Katowice airport, Cezary Orzech, viewed the incident as a teaching moment.
“This is a warning to all parents: you can never predict what a young child is going to do,” he said. “But it also shows the airport staff not only check to see if anybody is carrying dangerous items but also care for the wellbeing of the passengers.”
In addition to preventing the child from getting hurt, Paczek’s timely catch also may have prevented the boy and his family from missing their flight.
As a reward for his quick thinking (and even quicker reflexes) Paczek received a undisclosed amount of money as a Christmas bonus. “I don’t feel I’ve done anything heroic,” he said. “I’m just glad the child wasn’t hurt. He started to cry when I caught him but his mother soon calmed him down.”