TSA worker who saved woman on Blue Line tracks speaks about heroic rescue

April 3, 2014 (CHICAGO)

"I'm overwhelmed and I'm embarrassed," said Palacios. "I'm thankful people are calling, but it was really nothing."

The off-duty Transportation Security Administration worker who jumped onto the tracks of a Blue Line train to save the life of a woman who had fallen from the platform says he wasn't trying to be a hero, but just trying to help someone in need. A DNAInfo reporter captured video of the rescue on his cellphone.

"I heard somebody yell, she fell, she fell, the train is coming," said Palacios.

It happened late Wednesday morning as the lifelong Chicagoan and Pilsen resident took the Blue Line to his job at O'Hare Airport as a baggage checkpoint worker for the TSA.

Palacios was standing on the Chicago Avenue platform waiting for an outbound train to head to work when he noticed a commotion on the inbound side.

"I walked over and sure enough I saw somebody on the floor. At first I thought it was a child and then a saw the train coming," said Palacios.

That's when fate and a bright orange hoodie Palacios was wearing prompted him to do something.

"I was in front of her and I figured that would be enough time for the train to be able to stop because she had dark clothes and I was worried they wouldn't see her. At least me if I were to move my arms they would be able to see something orange and stop," said Palacios.

Once the young woman, who suffered a cut to her head, was safely on the platform, Palacios then headed to work and never got her name. On Thursday afternoon, the married 50-year-old father of two credits his training at the TSA, where's he's worked for 12 years, for teaching him how to think critically in stressful situations. But he is still uncomfortable being called a hero.

"If we don't have each other than we don't have anybody or anything and that's what I really feel. We need each other, bottom line, we really do," said Palacios.

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