Monday, April 16, 2012

Medical emergency not so medical?

From Sandra

I just found your website. Well I didn't find it so much as someone was talking about it at a Blue Jays game so when I got home I looked it up on Google. Where have you been my whole transit life?!

I've been riding the LSE (Oshawa) line for 6 years. I have a great story to tell. It was summer, which is important in detail because rarely does anyone have jackets and it was during the ride home. On my coach, which was the first coach behind the locomotive, this woman began asking someone to push the emergency strip and when everyone asked her what's wrong, she wouldn't say.

People were hesitant to push it because she looked fine and what I thought was strange is she wouldn't get up off her seat to push it herself. She was in a 4 seater, near the window.

So I pushed it for her.

I always thought the trains come to a screeching stop when there's a medical emergency announced, but nope, the train keeps rolling and this was the first time I'd been on a train with a medical emergency called.

This guy in a dark jump suit shows up in our coach after the CSA announces the alarm was pressed and being investigated, and he asks if anyone needs help and people wave him over to the woman. She looks perplexed.

She asks him if there are any women on board who can come assist and asks for the CSA (who was a woman). The guy radios to the engineer. He asks for the CSA and he says she's coming.

Jump suit guy asks the woman if she can stand up. She says no. He asks why. She shakes her head.

The female CSA shows up - I should mention this was a full train and the woman motions for her to lean down so she can talk to her privately. They're whispering in each other's ears.

I get off at the end of the line but when we get to Whitby, the CSA asks the man sitting across from her if she can sit there and the train is idling while the CSA talks to the woman and the woman makes phone calls.

The engineer then announces we're holding at Whitby for a medical emergency. Then the jump suit guy returns and has what looks like a black garbage bag. I'm thinking that perhaps this woman has pooped herself? What else could be such a big deal?

Oh, but it was much worse than that and only women can relate to the nightmare this woman was going through.

The CSA asks us on the train to either exit the train or move to another coach as this woman needs privacy.

I get off and stand on the platform.

Eventually the woman and the CSA get off the train. The CSA has wrapped the garbage bag around the woman like a skirt and was walking her across the platform.

The doors were closed on that coach and those of us on the platform were asked to board other coaches and the jump suit guy went to go stand guard at the connecting door to prevent people from entering the coach.

When we get to Oshawa, the train is put out of service.

The horror, right?

Anyway, don't know if you'll share the story but I know people bitch a lot about medical emergencies and delays. Sometimes it's because of stuff like this. I really felt for her. But it's interesting what GO classifies as a medical emergency. This woman needed a clean pair of pants.


James said...

I'm a guy and I feel for this poor woman. I could only imagine the horror. At least she said something instead of leaving a bio-hazard behind.

Harith said...


lswgirl13 said...

Ohhhhhh yuck. That poor woman.

Zjack said...

So... What was it? Period on the chair? Or did she realize she forgot to shave her legs?

C.J. Smith said...

Harith - paragraphs indeed!!! Publishing from email was a fail!
I also missed the whole last few paragraphs of Sandra's email.
Yes, she obviously was riding with Aunt Flo.

FRED said...

And all y'all bitch about those blue, pleather/vinyl seats! Washcloth and you're done. Fabric seats? Boil, dry, steam and treat.

I dunno why this woman called so much attention to herself. Why not wait until the last stop and then press the alarm when the train is emptying and then deal?

Anonymous said...

Oh yikes! Yeah, I'm guessing it was a "period on the seat" type of thing - God, if that happened to me I'd probably completely freak out.

lx said...

Who knows if she had a miscarraige, a bowel problem, hemorrhaging, doesn't really matter, clearly that car was not fit for human habitation after that. Clearly it was appropriate to declare a medical emergency and clear the car.

Squiggles said...

Agreed with clearing the car at the end of the line. But if it was Aunt Flo, then this woman should have been better prepared!

Besides, ick.

Anonymous said...

I rode the train years ago, and the same thing happened to a woman that was sitting in front of me. The train was not as packed as it was the Richmond Hill line (not sure if it's busier now) but then it wasn't a busy line..anyways the woman got up, looked a little embarrased, left a HUGE mess and got off the train. Now that was gross.

Anonymous said...

Squiggles, being peri-menopausal right now (ok, way too much info, but it is relevant, sorry!), my aunt hadn't visited for 11 months! That is, until last month. Fortunately I was at home. I was prepared for a visit for months, but really thought she would never come again.

Squiggles said...

Anon: you were prepared! That is the difference. If that was the case with her (and it sounds like this woman wasn't. And as no age was given, she could have been 18/32/whatever for all we know) then she really did herself and the train load full of people a disservice.

DF said...

Squigs, that easily could have been Anon. Anon was prepared for a few months not a year. She was just lucky she was home. Aunt Flo often drops by unannounced and unexpected. The best you can do is carry the proper supplies and hope for he best.