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Blog authored by David Martinez, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) signal maintainer, New York
One man, reading one article and watching one video on CPR, one time… this sums up what prepared me to help save a life.
I’ve been a signal maintainer with the MTA for 17 years. During my tenure, I’ve never had to come to the aid of coworkers as a result of an accident or emergency. Last October, I was put to the test.
It was a typical day, nothing unusual. My fellow co-workers and I were in the middle of performing routine signal maintenance inside the 145th Street subway station when a normal day turned into an emergency in seconds. As we were leaving the site and removing warning flags, I suddenly heard a shout to call the control center to turn off power.
Two co-workers, one being Monique Brathwaite, were retrieving flags when a train arrived into the station, prompting them to clear the area. Upon arriving at their location, I discovered that Monique had fallen on to the third rail of the track and was struck by a tremendous surge of electricity. My heart was racing and I was sweating profusely, fearing what was before me.
Monique was face down, her head underneath the third rail, smoke rising from her body. A sight that left me […]