MARTA Officer Keith Softley (left) and Corporal Michael Woodward were awarded by the American Red Cross for saving a man's life at Kensington MARTA station.
Photo: MARTA
Photo: MARTA

MARTA officers who saved man’s life honored by the American Red Cross 

When two men went into cardiac arrest within an hour at the same train station last year, MARTA Officer Keith Softley and Cpl. Michael Woodward acted quickly, using an automated external defibrillator and CPR to save them. 

Only one of the men survived, but the valiant effort earned the officers the Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action from the American Red Cross, according to a news release from MARTA.

Softley and Woodward were honored Wednesday in a ceremony at the Red Cross of Georgia headquarters at 1955 Monroe Drive in northeast Atlanta. The ceremony coincided with World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, which recognizes those who work to alleviate human suffering. 

“We commend them for their willingness to help others in distress and are particularly proud to recognize them on a day that’s so meaningful to Red Cross humanitarians worldwide,” said Terri Badour, executive director of Metro Atlanta’s Red Cross. 


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About 8:45 a.m. on April 17,  2018 Softley and Woodward attempted to rescue a man who went into cardiac arrest at Kensington MARTA station, transit officials said. 

The men used the automated external defibrillator, or an AED, and performed CPR until he regained consciousness. 

“The man was alert and speaking with officers when transported to the hospital but suffered another medical event at the hospital and died,” MARTA police spokesman Brian Lauda said in a news release. 

A little over an hour later, the officers were called to another medical emergency at the same MARTA station, officials said. 

The two used an AED and CPR to save the man, who had also gone into cardiac arrest. The man survived. 

“Officer Softley and Corporal Woodward acted heroically and were able to save a life thanks to their rapid response, quick thinking, training and commitment to duty. They are both humbled by this recognition,” MARTA Police Chief Wanda Y. Dunham said in a news release. 

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In other news:

MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker has had an eventful first year. Under his leadership, MARTA has refined expansion plans in Atlanta and Clayton County. He also negotiated a labor agreement that gives big raises to many employees. But voters in Gwinnett County rejected a transit referendum that would bring MARTA farther north. MARTA is "critically important to the region, just like the road system," Parker said.

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