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Monday 15 September 2014

‘Underneath the train we all had a laugh about it’ – Irish paramedic who rescued Irish woman ran over by three subway trains

Published 03/07/2014 | 11:15

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Rescue Medic Niall OShaughnessy (left) and Firefighter Sean Cummins.
They rescued Irishwoman Mary Downey from the train tracks in New York
Rescue Medic Niall OShaughnessy (left) and Firefighter Sean Cummins. They rescued Irishwoman Mary Downey from the train tracks in New York
Firefighter Sean Cummins - he and another Irishman rescued Irishwoman Mary Downey from the train tracks in New York
Firefighter Sean Cummins - he and another Irishman rescued Irishwoman Mary Downey from the train tracks in New York

THE Irish paramedic who rescued an Irish woman who survived being run over by three New York Subway trains has spoken on the miraculous rescue.

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Niall O’Shaughnessy from Limerick was the paramedic who responded to the call when Belfast native Mary Downey.

He along with fire fighter and Dublin native Sean Cummins rescued Mary from the tracks.

“As soon as I got on the ambulance at 6am we got a call for a ‘man under’, in other words a person hit by a train and they’re underneath the train”, he told John Murray on RTE Radio One.

“For something like this you have a huge response, you have the NYPD and FDNY and their technical teams

“As soon as I started talking to her to see how she was doing, I started to assess her and saw she had some serious injuries. I was worried she had some internal injuries.

He said he began talking to the fire fighter on the scene, who turned out to be Dubliner Sean Cummins.

“I noticed the fire fighter had a bit of an accent because I pick up on these things, and I asked him ‘where are you from?’ and he said ’I’m from Dublin’

“And then while we were talking back and forth Mary said ‘I’m from Ireland, I’m from Belfast!’

“Believe it or not underneath the train we had a laugh about it, including Mary herself”, he said.

However he said that Mary was incredibly lucky, as very rarely do people walk away from such an incident with such minor injuries.

“Whenever you get a call like that you’re expecting the worst. You rarely get to walk away from it like Mary. Usually these type of calls are fatal.

He said that the ambulance service in the city gets one or two calls every day reporting people falling onto the tracks.

“She probably got caught up in whatever she was doing. Bystanders said she stumbled and fell – it’s not uncommon”

“In the hospital she was still talking a still alert and knew what was going on.

“She’s a very, very lucky girl. Both me and fire fighter Cummins told her to go and play the lotto.”

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