May 14--WASHINGTON -- Eddie Palacios, a Transportation Security Administration agent in Chicago who helped rescue a woman in April after she fell onto the Blue Line tracks, will be honored by the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will recognize Palacios as one of eight recipients of the Secretary's Award for Valor, said Peter Boogaard, a department spokesman.
Palacios, 50, who works as a checked baggage supervisor at O'Hare International Airport, was waiting for a train to work about 11 a.m. April 2 at the Blue Line stop on Chicago Avenue when he heard people yelling that a woman had fallen onto the tracks.
He jumped onto the tracks and waved his arms to get the attention of the train's conductor. The train stopped about 20 feet from him, Boogaard said. The woman, who was pulled back onto the platform, later was taken to a hospital.
His good deed led Palacios to be late for work, and he explained his tardiness to his supervisor by saying that "somebody needed help at the train station, so I helped them," Boogaard said.
Tammy Chase, a CTA spokeswoman, said later that the train operator was aware of the woman on the tracks and was slowing down before Palacios placed himself between the train and the woman. But Palacios, who is married with two children, wasn't aware of that.
The drama gained attention after it was captured on video by a DNAInfo reporter, and TSA Administrator John Pistole was among those who soon telephoned Palacios.
In an interview after the rescue, Palacios said he was just trying to help out a little bit and added, "It wasn't a big deal for me."
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