First aid training helps Metrolinx employee assist GO customer having seizure

Lynn Longwill’s commute home every day normally involves finding her space in the Quiet Zone on a GO train from Union Station. She makes a point of helping others with accessibility needs but otherwise just enjoys the ride.

Her experience on Sept. 26, though, was much different.

The five-year Metrolinx employee acted on instinct when an emergency alarm sounded and there was a call for medical help. She had just finished her first aid training and needed to put it to use.

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PRESTO Brand Manager Lynn Longwill

Longwill made her way downstairs from the upper level of the coach and saw a young man on the ground.

“The fellow had fallen and it looked like he had a grand mal seizure,” she said. “He was flailing and his eyes were rolled back and a gentleman beside him had him on his side.”

After telling others she had first aid training, and asking them to clear the area around him, Longwill kneeled over the man to keep him safe. She tried to comfort him and tell him everything would be fine.

“He couldn’t speak,” she remembered. “He was not really conscious but he was still in obvious distress.”

The Customer Service Ambassador on board had called for Emergency Medical Services as the man began to recover. Another passenger helped by taking the man’s pulse as Longwill continued to try and keep him calm.

Soon after, the train had come to a stop and paramedics stepped in to help, but not before Longwill realized just how important her first aid training was.

“It was a fearful experience but I have to say it’s the most important experience I’ve had since I’ve been here at Metrolinx,” she said. “This gave me the opportunity to face some of those fears and to feel more confident should another incident arise”.