Commuting to and from Penn Station each workday is a routine that many Long Islanders are familiar with. The ride is typically quiet with most people occupying their time by reading the newspaper or playing on their phone.
For Bill Gerow and Chris Marshall though, the 5:53 train to Ronkonkoma one August evening was anything but typical. The two strangers sat near each other when Marshall collapsed onto Gerow’s lap after falling into cardiac arrest. Gerow immediately put to work the CPR training he learned as a boy scout in 1976.
“I just laid him down in the middle of the seats on the train and gave him CPR,” Gerow said. “It didn’t quite work so I had to do mouth-to-mouth, and he was revived by the time we got to my station.
Emergency medical technicians arrived shortly after Gerow to help the revived Marshall.
“He was there on time for me and he was there when I needed him,” Marshall said. “After that event got out on the news people all over the Island have been starting to take CPR courses and getting refresher courses. So Bill’s had a huge impact not just on me, but on everybody on the Island.”
For his efforts, the Islanders and National Grid teamed up to award Gerow the Hometown Hero Award. National Grid employee Bob Hughes was on hand to present the award to Gerow at the Islanders game against the Washington Capitals on Dec. 29.
“You can’t get a better situation than this,” Hughes said. “Two strangers on the train meet accidently like this and because of Bill, Chris is here. Helping your fellow people in the community is what that National Grid Hometown Hero is all about.”
Click here to nominate a National Grid Hometown Hero.