MARTA officers respond to two medical emergencies

Four MARTA police officers were able to revive two men who went into cardiac arrest at Kensington Station April 17.

The officers used an automated external defibrillator (AED) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on both men. MARTA police said, Officer K. Softley, Corporal M. Woodward, Officer in Training B. Dennis, and Sgt. L. Martin were alerted to a man who was in cardiac arrest.

Softely told The Champion that the man was talking and told the officers that he had two previous heart attacks and he was having chest pains.
“At that point he started to sweat profusely from the face,” Softely said. “That’s when Corporal Woodward told Officer Dennis to grab the AED, which he did. And we stood by and waited on EMS to arrive. Before EMS could respond the gentleman went into cardiac arrest.”

They used the AED and performed CPR on the man until he regained consciousness. MARTA police said the man was alert and speaking with officers when transported to the hospital, but he suffered another medial event at the hospital and died.

More than an hour later, the same officers were called to a medical emergency in the bus loop at the train station. MARTA police said Softley and Woodward used the AED and CPR to regain the heartbeat of a man who had also gone into cardiac arrest. The man remains in stable condition.

Softley said they don’t see many emergencies of that nature.

“Police work is unpredictable, so this particular event was unusual in a sense of what happened,” he said.

This was the first time Softley had responded to these types of emergencies.

“A lot of times, we are trained to do a [variety] of things and when your training actually kicks in, it helps,” he said. “I just relied on my training that I received.”

MARTA police Public Information Officer Corporal Brian Lauda said MARTA officers train bi-annually for emergencies such as the two the four officers experienced.

“But, every officer receives that training in the police academy before they ever hit the street, and MARTA police train bi-annually on the CPR and AED program,” Lauda said.

Lauda said there are AEDs in every patrol vehicle, at the precincts, as well in some of the maintenance and administrative facilities around MARTA.

“So right now, it’s safe to say there are well over 100 AEDs throughout the authority,” he said.

The officers have not been contacted by the families of the two men. Softley said he doesn’t consider himself a hero.

“No, I think it’s just doing the job that we normally do, that we were trained to do,” he said. “When you do put what you’ve learned into action to help someone, that makes you feel good, but I don’t consider myself a hero.”

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