CBS2 Exclusive: Port Authority Cops’ Life-Saving Training Kicked-In When Man Passed Out

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two Port Authority police officers are being hailed as heroes for saving a man’s life inside the bus terminal.

At around 10 a.m., Monday, PA police received a call reporting an unconscious man inside Starbucks at the South Wing of the Bus terminal.

“One of my baristas came up to me and was like, ‘hey, you know that guy looks a little out of it,’ and we went straight over,” Janay Morton said.

One of their regular customers couldn’t keep his balance.

Port Authority Police Officers Jessica Toritto and Rebekah Epley were the first to arrive on the scene and saw a man unconscious, unresponsive and slumped back in a chair. His hands were cold and his face was blueish, police said.

“The individual slumped over the table. We checked him to see if he had a pulse, see if he was breathing, he was not,” Toritto said speaking exclusively with CBS2’s Alice Gainer.

Additional Port Authority officers arrived on the scene and assisted in removing the man from the chair and laying him on the floor.

While Officer Toritto did chest compressions, her partner Officer Rebeka Epley went to get a defibrillator across the way.

Another officer cut the man’s shirt and Epley applied a shock from the machine. The man responded to the shock,

She said it was her first time using an automated external defibrillator or AED on a person.

“Only in training,” She said, “It kicked in, I guess.”

After one shock he regained consciousness and began breathing. Color also came back to his face

“He was laying out, moans, and starting to say he was okay,” she explained.

EMS personnel arrived and began to work on the man who they said had gone into cardiac arrest and that the actions of the officers saved his life.

The man was conscious and able to speak and was transported to Mount Sinai St Luke’s Hospital.

Officers said the man had no idea what had just happened to him.

“He was still trying to go to the Sands Casino. He still thought he could go to the casino,” Epley said.

Luck was certainly on his side, workers who witnessed it all called it miracle.

“He was back to normal even before the ambulance came,” Morton said.

He is described by the Starbucks manager as an “everyday customer” who usually ordered coffee.

Today, however, he ordered only a glass of water and immediately sat down right before he became unconscious.

Both officers have four years on the job.

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