BART worker saves rider's life with CPR

Byby Katie Utehs KGO logo
Saturday, November 3, 2018
BART worker saves rider's life with CPR
"I was just at the right place at the right time." On Monday Oct. 29, BART worker Vincent Seals heard a co-worker calling for help at the Dublin-Pleasanton station.

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) -- A BART train cleaner sprang into action earlier this week, saving a man's life with CPR. The man's lips had already turned blue by the time help arrived. Vincent Seals says he's not a hero, he was just in the right place at the right time.

Normally Vincent Seals works at the Millbrae BART station, but he just so happened to pick up an extra shift Sunday night into Monday morning at the Dublin-Pleasanton stop.

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"I wasn't supposed to be there. I was out eating with my family," Seals explained.

Seals cleans BART trains at the end of the line and was doing that when he heard a co-worker screaming.

"One of my co-workers started coming down and screaming someone's dead, someone's dead," Seals said.

On instinct, Seals rushed to the first train car.

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"I can't say what made me take action, but when I saw him and I see his eyes in the back of his head I just immediately jumped in there and I had to do something," Seals said.

The 20-year-old man Seals found was unconscious, slumped over in a seat, his lips already blue.

"That's when I picked him up and placed him on the floor."

How long he performed CPR, he's unsure.

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"It was just like I was focused on him at that time. I feel someone touch me and say, 'Do you want me to take over?' I said, 'No, I got him.' For some reason I felt connected to him," Seals said.

It was a BART officer who'd arrived to help. She had a mask and started assisting with breathing while Seals continued chest compressions. The man was conscious when paramedics took him to the hospital.

"I was amazed. Can you imagine saving somebody's life a day that he's not even supposed to be here?" asked Rhonda Morrow, a BART utility foreworker who is Seals supervisor.

Seals learned CPR at a previous job. Morrow learned CPR when she started at BART decades ago. She'd like to see it offered again for all BART employees.

"It was offered for free and I took it and the 30 years I've been here I've never had to use it," Morrow said.

"I was just at the right place at the right time. So he's the hero for coming back and for fighting. He wanted to live, he wanted to survive," Seals said.

Because of patient privacy laws Seals has no idea how the young man is doing. BART police did say the man he helped save had just turned 20 years old on Sunday. Seals encountered him just after midnight Monday.

Seals says he'd like to meet the man to let him know that people care and even strangers can do the right thing.