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Workers at Croton-Harmon Shop Save Fellow Employee's Life

Five Metro-North employees were honored Monday for their quick action and life-saving efforts when a fellow employee collapsed at the Croton-Harmon shop where they all work.

"They did a yeoman's job saving my life," said Robert DeStefano, who is recovering at home.

DeStefano, an electrician who works in shop maintenance, collapsed last May 26 while walking to the parking lot. His co-workers, John Fisher and Ray Castrovinci, saw the man collapse and immediately realized that he was not breathing and had no pulse. John called for help and Ray began CPR.

Other Harmon Shop employees who are members of the Metro-North Railroad Harmon Shop Fire Brigade, Pat Matwijec, Scott Cole and Joe Hyatt, heard the call for help and rushed to the scene. Pat carried oxygen and Hyatt carried an Automatic External Defibrillator and was prepared in the event it was needed.

While Pat and Scott took turns in continuing the rescue breathing, DeStefano returned to a normal heart rhythm and it was not necessary to use the defibrillator. The Croton EMS ambulance arrived and took over.

"The quick actions of this group of co-workers saved his life," Metro-North President Howard Permut said at a recognition ceremony held today at by the Railroads Committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board. "They are to be commended and thanked for their selfless actions, and are a great illustration that in the workplace, employee safety is everyone's concern."

Left to right: MTA Metro-North Railroad Committee Chairman Jim Sedore, John Fisher, Ray Castrovinci, Pat Matwijec, Joe Hyatt, Scott Cole, Metro-North President Howard Permut

Left to right: MTA Metro-North Railroad Committee Chairman Jim Sedore, John Fisher, Ray Castrovinci, Pat Matwijec, Joe Hyatt, Scott Cole, Metro-North President Howard Permut