By Hannah Debenedetto / King County DOT intern

When an elderly man suffered a heart attack last April outside a Burien Starbucks cafe, Metro’s Marc Anderson knew what to do.

Anderson monitored the man’s vital signs as a Starbucks employee provided chest compressions. They continued performing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until paramedics from nearby King County Fire District 28 arrived.

In August, Metro Transit Risk Program Manager Marc Anderson was honored with the City of Burien’s 2017 Heroism Award for helping save the man’s life. The patient, Christopher Smith of Port Orchard, was able to leave the hospital a few weeks after the April 6 incident.

In a letter, Smith’s daughters said Anderson and others’ actions increased their father’s chances dramatically. “Were it not for these people knowing what to do and their immediate response, our dad would have died,” they wrote.

The King County Council also recently recognized Anderson for using emergency skills he learned through King County’s free emergency training program for employees. In 2016, Anderson was among nearly 1,000 county employees who enrolled in the courses.

At the Burien City Council’s award ceremony, Anderson stressed the importance of CPR training and encouraged more employees to take advantage. “This is one training that everyone should have,” Anderson said. “You never know when you will need it.”

As a result of the classes, Anderson was immediately able to assess Smith for tell-tale signs of distress, such as skin color and overall body condition.

“The first thing is to be willing to do something,” Anderson said. “The CPR/First Aid training gives a person the confidence to do something.”

“As his experience illustrates, CPR/AED training isn’t just for medics,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said. “The more people who hold a certification, whether they’re a County employee or not, the safer our county is.”

All King County employees are encouraged to attend free Basic First Aid/CPR/AED classes. You can find out more at Residents of Seattle & King County can also take a free CPR class through the City of Seattle’s Medic II program.