Three Good Samaritans went home with plaques of commendation after a brief ceremony Thursday morning at the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail (MBCR) Headquarters in downtown Boston. Framingham resident Dean Bonis, Gary Dragoon of Wayland, and David Perry of Ashland were honored for their cooperative efforts to revive and assist a 56-year old male passenger after he collapsed at the West Newton train platform on August 22nd.
“This award was a little surprising," said Dragoon, who initially responded to the collapsed passenger. "I think we’re all very honored, but I think we’re just proud we could step into this situation and help the gentlemen out. That’s really the satisfaction you take home on something like this: that it worked out the way it was supposed to.”
Bonis, who began CPR and was then assisted by Perry, concurred.
“It couldn’t have been a more perfect situation–the system worked exactly as it's supposed to," said Bonis, an EMT that works both in New York and at the Children's Hospital. "I’ve been doing this for years, and usually I don’t get there in time to do anything. The fact that the timing was all right for this is what really what made it work.”
Medics arrived at the scene within minutes of the first responders and administered the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) which restored the patient's pulse. The patient was reported conscious later that morning.
The three honored men were given plaques by MBTA officials at the South Street Headquarters, and then had a timely surprise: following the ceremony, the passenger they had assisted walked in. Thanks, laughter and handshakes ensued.
The 56-year-old man, whose collapse was attributed to sudden heart failure, has since returned to work part time.
The man's daughter, Katie Perkins, accompanied him and thanked each responder, telling them, “I did a lot of Google searches and stalked people so we could say thank you!”
While each of the responders assisted in different ways before medics arrived on the scene, they each described that morning in one way: "surreal."
“All this goes down, and then in a matter of a minutes, life goes on," said Dragoon. "I remember us getting back on the train after the ambulance pulled away, and saying, “That was a heck of a start to the morning!”
While medics arrived before it was required, all MBTA trains are equipped with AEDS, and many conductors have been trained in AED use and CPR.