James Kenealey Vital Rail
A Vital worker performed life-saving CPR on a member of the public who collapsed on a train station platform.
Dan Stephens, Trespass and Welfare Officer, was called to respond to an emergency on Platform 4 at Southampton Central Station on 5th March. Martin East, 67-year-old father of two, collapsed onto the platform after getting off a train bound for New Milton, Hampshire.
“I was patrolling platform 3 when a call came through on the radio that help was needed on platform 4. I rushed over there to find a gentleman had collapsed into the guard’s arms. He’d been put into the recovery position and they told me that they thought he’d had an epileptic fit. But I realised he wasn’t breathing and needed CPR straight away.”
As the station supervisor phoned the ambulance, Dan removed the gentleman’s backpack, laid him on his back and checked his airway, pulse and commenced CPR.
“I was doing that for a while as we were waiting for the paramedics to turn up. When the fast response unit came down, they asked me to keep performing the CPR until the ambulance crew arrived. They arrived about five minutes later and took over.”
Mr East, who had suffered a heart attack, was taken to Southampton General Hospital where he spent three days in intensive care following an emergency stent procedure. He recalls:
“I remember nothing from that whatsoever. I have no idea where I collapsed, what time it occurred, or how long I was getting CPR. I had seen a neurologist in London about an unrelated condition prior to my departure for New Milton and he remarked that I was looking fine when he saw me.”
After his stay in intensive care, Mr East was transferred to a different ward and eventually discharged two weeks later. During his stay in hospital, he contracted a minor case of Covid-19.
“I was told when I returned home that I had contracted the coronavirus which delayed my recovery a little bit. I’m almost back to normal now, both from the heart attack and the virus. I still have a few aches and pains in the rib cage but almost all of the bruising is gone.
Thank you seems insufficient to convey my gratitude that Dan had the presence of mind and the confidence to carry out the CPR.”
Dan has been CPR trained for almost eight years, though he admitted he hadn’t used his skills in a while. Working in the rail industry for four years, the incident at Southampton Central Station took place during his first week working for Vital.