NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A typical evening commute on the subway turned into anything but when a passenger was found slumped over and unconscious.
As CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported, a subway conductor stepped in to save the man’s life.
Conductor Kevin Bartsch was working two train cars away when the 35-year-old passenger went into cardiac arrest shortly before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on the F train. He leapt into action.
“Overwhelming, very overwhelming,” a tearful Bartsch told Duddridge.
As the subway pulled into the Roosevelt Avenue-74th Street station, he heard passengers yelling that a man was in distress.
“Screaming, ‘he’s dead, he’s dead!’ I got a couple passengers to help me get this passenger down to the floor,” he said.
Bartsch, who happens to be a volunteer firefighter in Suffolk County, started chest compressions and called for help.
A nearby EMT rushed to the platform, took over the compressions, and was about to use a defibrillator.
“I applied the mask first, and as I was applying the pads, the patient just rose up,” said EMT Christian Winn.
Winn was stationed near the platform as part of a city program that started last August to put EMTs in more than a dozen subway stations. The goal is to get sick riders help faster, and also to keep trains moving when there’s an isolated emergency.
Winn told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge he was prepared.
“There is no greater high for an individual than literally bringing someone back,” Winn said.
One passenger told Duddridge she was inspired to see how quickly everyone reacted to save the man’s life.
“That New Yorkers would step in and assist in any way they could, and this subway conductor just happened to be trained in CPR,” passenger Amy Harris said.
Twenty minutes later, the man was up and walking. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital.
Bartsch got back on the train and went right back to work.
The MTA is planning to give him an award for his heroic response.