Alexandria Fire Chief Robert C. Dubé, Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld and Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik today honored several people who saved the life of a cardiac arrest victim at the Braddock Road Metro Station in Alexandria.
Shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, a man waiting for a train at Braddock Road Station collapsed face down on the platform. Within seconds, a bystander saw the victim and immediately called 911.
Metro Transit Police Officer Joanne Dill, who was on routine patrol at the station, was notified by other customers and responded to the platform. She quickly evaluated the patient, radioed for medics and began to administer first aid.
The victim's condition became grave, and Officer Dill and a Good Samaritan, Debra Anderson, began to administer CPR. Other Metro employees ran to get the station's Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) and alerted arriving trains of the activity on the platform. Officer Dill used the AED to help the victim establish an effective heart rhythm. Multiple Alexandria EMS and Fire units arrived at the station within minutes, took over CPR and initiated advanced life support procedures.
The patient was transported to the Inova Alexandria Hospital where doctors continued life-saving care.
"This is an excellent example of how immediate bystander CPR followed by advanced cardiac care and transport can save lives," said Chief Dubé. "We extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who rendered aid Tuesday morning, and we encourage members of the community to consider learning CPR themselves. It absolutely saves lives in the critical minutes between calling 911 and EMS arriving on scene."
The incident also underscores the importance of community education and training in CPR, a technique that helps preserve blood flow to the brain and heart, and can help "buy time" until more advanced care arrives. Individuals and organizations seeking training may find CPR training by using the American Heart Association's CPR and First Aid: Find a Course webpage, or the American Red Cross CPR, First Aid and AED Certification page.
"A man is alive today thanks to the quick response of several individuals – including Officer Dill, bystander Debra Anderson, and the Alexandria Fire and EMS responders – who all played a critical role in this successful outcome," said Metro General Manager/CEO Wiedefeld. "We are profoundly grateful for their efforts, which certainly saved a life in this case."