IRENE LOVE, ACTUALLY: MGM security officer earns kudos for life-saving action
A little humor, a touch of faith, a ton of devotion — and split-second, leap-into-action instincts. That’s what it took to save a life. And Irene Love had it all.
“I have such a strong relationship with God that I just said a quick prayer and kept on going,” says Love, 51, an MGM Grand security officer, who in 2016 provided the ultimate security – securing someone’s survival. After working in the hotel’s towers, Love came downstairs to return an item to lost and found when she noticed a ruckus coming from the KA Theatre.
“I heard another security guard saying there was a woman down, and they were doing CPR so I offered to assist,” recalls Love, a former New Jersey emergency medical service (EMS) worker. “The woman had fallen and had basically died, but with our knowledge of CPR we were able to bring her back to life.”
That life-saving action as part of a heroic team effort for a woman whose heart and breathing had stopped during the middle of a performance earned Love a commendation from Desert Valley Hospital last year. Earlier this year, Love was also recognized by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority as a “Hospitality Hero” for both that action, and her overall dedication to serving the resort’s guests — right down to calming and assisting frustrated visitors who were double-booked, helping to untangle their lodging snafu.
Whether it’s bureaucratic hiccups or life-and-death emergencies, the Brooklyn-born, New Jersey-raised Love approaches life with aplomb. “I always handle things with humor, for some weird reason. I have fun with everybody I meet, that’s just how I am,” says Love, who moved to Las Vegas with her husband five years ago and also worked security inside the MGM’s Hakkasan nightclub. “And I always want to make the guests feel like they’ve been heard.”
Yet she did far more than just listen when she rushed into the KA Theatre. “We didn’t stop the performance.,” she says. “A group of us picked her up and put her in an area where we could do CPR. And her husband was there. When EMS came, we just handed over what we were doing to them. By the time they put her on the stretcher, she was back to life. It was a miracle.”
Perhaps it was. However, it was helped along by someone who is no stranger to resort-city emergencies. “I’ve experienced that several times as an EMS, when I worked 911 in Atlantic City, in the ambulance,” Love says. “You get that programmed into your body so you’re ready to do what you’ve been taught.”
Shortly after the incident, Love says, the daughter of the woman they saved dropped by her team’s regular security briefing to thank them for their efforts. Still, Love chalks up her actions to a higher power.
“I’m just happy that God spared her life.”
“Hospitality Heroes” is a program created by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), in conjunction with the U.S. Travel Association’s National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrated annually in May. The LVCVA and its tourism partners honor employees who deliver superior customer service. Since the program began in 2008, more than 500 “Hospitality Heroes” have been recognized in Southern Nevada.