When train car cleaner Vincent Seals picked up a shift at a Bay Area Rapid Transit stop he normally doesn’t work at, he figured it was just a way to make some extra cash.
Instead, he found himself saving a young man’s life.
Seals learned CPR with a previous job prior to getting hired in January to work as an end-of-line train cleaner by San Fransisco’s BART, which serves as the public transit trains for the northern California city.
Although he’d had to learn the life-saving measure for the supervisor position he’d been in at the time, Seals explained that he’d never had to use it before.
While he was cleaning one of the cars on that extra shift, he heard one of his co-workers calling out for help. Immediately rushing over to see what was going on, he realized that the car the employee had been cleaning—which was set to go out of service for the night—still had one passenger left.
Shockingly, the passenger wasn’t getting out. Seals quickly realized, though, that it wasn’t out of belligerence; the young man, rather, was completely unconscious.
Seals didn’t have a ton of experience with emergencies like this. He had just turned 20 that week, and he’d never ended up needing to use the emergency training he’d received with his previous job.
Despite the bizarre circumstances, though, the young employee didn’t hesitate before springing into action.
“I checked for a pulse,” Seals explained, via BART’s Facebook page. “I didn’t feel one so I put my ear to his mouth to see if I could hear or feel his breath and I couldn’t. His lips had already turned blue at that point so I picked him up and laid him on the floor (of the car) to start CPR.”
Before long, his chest compressions helped the man wake up. From there, he was even more impressive in his life-saving endeavor; he managed to coach the passenger through staying calm, and kept him alert, until the emergency personnel his co-worker had called for were able to arrive on the scene.
It was far from a typical shift, and not the type of experience many would want to re-live. For Seals, though, he’s grateful that he decided to pick up the shift that night, insisting that he was meant to be there.
“This was never something I would have expected on the job at BART,” he continued. “I was glad to have the opportunity to be there to help save his life … I was supposed to be there at that time.”