TSA Worker Honored for Saving Woman on CTA Tracks

Eddie Palacios, nine others receive Secretary’s Award for Valor

Wednesday, May 14, 2014  |  Updated 11:49 AM CDT
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Watch a train stop 20 feet before hitting a woman laying on the Blue Line tracks.

DNAinfo Radio

Watch a train stop 20 feet before hitting a woman laying on the Blue Line tracks.

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TSA Worker Describes Train Track Rescue

Eddie Palacios describes how he jumped down onto the tracks to flag down an oncoming Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line train after a woman fell onto the tracks.
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A Transportation Security Administration employee who helped save the life of a woman who'd fallen on Chicago Transit Authority tracks last month was honored Wednesday by the Department of Homeland Security.

Eddie Palacios received the Secretary’s Award for Valor, the highest recognition from the Department for extraordinary acts of valor, during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

"Today we highlight the character and integrity of our people within DHS, exemplified by ten individuals across the Department who have responded selflessly, concerned not for themselves, but with doing whatever they could to help others," Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

Palacios has shunned the hero tag ever since the April 2 incident when he saw woman fall from the Blue Line platform at the Chicago Avenue station just as a train was approaching. Hoping his bright orange University of Illinois sweatshirt would get the conductor's attention, Palacios jumped down onto the track and waved his arms. The train stopped 20 feet in front of the woman.

"It was nothing really," Palacios told NBC Chicago in an interview the day after the incident. "At the TSA they teach us sensitivity. They teach us how to respond to certain situations."

DNAInfo.com/chicago radio reporter Jon Hansen witnessed the incident and recorded video on his cell phone.

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