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Monday, August 22, 2011

What's wrong with this story? See the next-to-last paragraph.

Train Passengers Perform CPR After Man Collapses at West Newton Station
After a man collapsed on the platform in West Newton, Commuter Rail passengers stepped in to help out.
By Melanie Graham

It was an exciting commute for a few passengers on the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail line this morning.

David Perry, an Ashland resident, as well as Framingham resident Dean Bonis, helped perform CPR on a man at the West Newton station after the man collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

"I knew I had the training and I knew what to do," Perry told Newton Patch.

Newton Fire Chief Paul Chagnon told Newton Patch this morning that the man was reported to be "awake and alert" in the hospital.

As the train pulled into the West Newton stop around 8 a.m., Perry and Bonis explained that someone ran onto their cars asking if there was a doctor available, as a man had just collapsed on the platform.

Perry, who is a trained CPR instructor, went out to the platform and met another man who had already started chest compressions.

Soon after, Bonis, who is originally from Auburdale, took over the chest compressions on the platform until EMS arrived. Bonis said he is an EMT in New York and works in Boston at Children's Hospital.

"It was a classic example of everyone coming together for bystander CPR," Perry said.

Perry said he received his CPR training and teacher certification a few years ago through his job in downtown Boston, where he works as an environmental engineer. With his certification, he says he mostly trains other people in his workplace and helps coordinate office safety.

According to Chagnon, the 58-year old male collapsed on the platform and was shocked with a defibrillator one time by EMS crews and resuscitated in the ambulance.

Scanner reports indicated the man was transported to Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Chagnon said this morning the man was transferred to a hospital in Boston, but could not indicate which hospital.

This morning's incident was not the first bystander CPR situation for Perry, though. A few years ago, Perry said he was stuck in traffic in the Lincoln Tunnel on his way to New York City when he saw a man kneeling by the side of the road. After getting out of the car to see what was wrong, Perry found out the man was having a heart attack and stepped in to help out.

During the Lincoln Tunnel incident, Perry recalls the ambulance "taking forever." But today, he said EMS crews were on the scene in no time.

Andrea Wheeler, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail, said the train conductors did not need to provide much assistance as Newton EMS was on scene shortly after the train arrived.

Perry noted that the train conductors did not need to use the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on the train, as the bystander CPR and fast EMS response jumped to the task quickly and eventually restored a pulse to the patient.

"It speaks well to the mentality of people out there willing to step up and help out," Perry said.

[Blogger's note: I'll bet the conductors could have gotten the on-train AED to the victim faster than the EMT's got to the victim.]