GO Transit crew helps save customer’s life

Conductor Michael Swain and Customer Service Ambassador Shane Beezer are quick to act after receiving distress call

As a father of one, with another baby on the way, Michael Swain understands just how precious life can be. It can come and go in an instant.

That’s why, when the call came to save someone else’s life while at work, he understood the magnitude of the moment, now more than ever.

The GO train conductor was preparing to leave Bradford Station on the morning of Feb. 21, when a passenger assist alarm on board was triggered. Swain was the first to respond and quickly found a man, unconscious, with a friend by his side.

“We got him down on the ground,” Swain said. “He wasn’t breathing at the time. And we started doing what we need to do for CPR.”

At the same time, Customer Service Ambassador Shane Beezer was responding to the call for help, with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in hand. When he arrived, they attached the device to the man’s chest and shocked him.

“I’ve never done anything like that before,” said Beezer. “So when I went there and saw that this was really happening, it was a lot for me to take in.”

Beezer has been on the job for less than a year. While fully trained for medical emergencies, most of his work involves helping passengers and making announcements on board trains when necessary.

Both Swain and Beezer ended up assisting the man for approximately 15 minutes. Soon after applying the initial shock, he started breathing on his own before an ambulance and paramedics arrived.

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“It felt like an hour,” said Beezer.

At that point, the passenger’s friend told them the man had recently retired. That’s when the emotions kicked in, after concentrating on what needed to be done in the moment.

“At first you’re really sad,” Swain said. “But once he started to come around, you’re like, ‘You know what? You’re going to get to enjoy retirement.’”

*Editor’s Note: Due to confidentiality, Metrolinx and GO Transit cannot give further updates on the passenger’s condition.*